Statement: Massachusetts’ failure to update appliance standards is a huge disappointment

Media Contacts
Brynn Furey

Josh Chetwynd

After four years of federal appliance efficiency rollbacks, state leaders miss a golden opportunity to set an example for the whole country

Environment America

BOSTON — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker vetoed a climate bill on Thursday night that would have updated the state’s appliance efficiency standards. 

The Energy SAVE Act (H. 2832) would have required appliances and plumbing fixtures in 17 different categories — from commercial dishwashers to household faucets — to use energy and water more efficiently. By 2025, it would have reduced emissions equal to taking 24,000 cars off of the road annually, and the benefits would only have increased for each year that followed.

For years, Massachusetts had topped a state-by-state ranking for energy efficiency issued annually by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). But, in 2020, Massachusetts dropped to second place for the first time in a decade, in large part because of the commonwealth’s failure to update appliance efficiency standards. 

In response to the governor’s decision, Environment America Energy Conservation & Efficiency Associate Brynn Furey issued the following statement:

“After a disappointing four years of federal rollbacks on appliance efficiency standards, it’s disheartening to see Massachusetts also come up short. Governor Baker had an easy opening to send a signal to his constituents that he cares about protecting the environment and public health and to show the incoming Biden administration that the Bay State wants to protect and increase the benefits it gets from federal appliance standards. Neither of those things happened.

A whole club of states from California to Vermont have updated their appliances standards over the last couple of years, demonstrating that states can serve as laboratories for great change. Despite the tireless efforts of bill sponsors and energy champions Rep. Josh Cutler and Sen. Jason Lewis, along with strong public support, Massachusetts will not yet shine through as one of those states. We hope Massachusetts legislators will move quickly to pass appliance standards in the new legislative session.”

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Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy.

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