Field Director, PennEnvironment
Field Director, PennEnvironment
HARRISBURG — State House Reps. Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware County) and Thomas Mehaffie (R-Dauphin) introduced House Bill 1615. The bill would set minimum appliance efficiency standards for 15 different household and commercial appliances and plumbing fixtures. These standards, if enacted, would save the state’s residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars and cut climate pollution by hundreds of thousands of tons every year.
“With this past July being reported as the hottest month on record, Pennsylvanians are ultimately using more energy to stay cool. Unfortunately, this increased usage coexists with higher energy costs as well,” said State Rep. Jennifer O’Mara. “Our bill will not only help us reduce energy consumption to help us meet our climate goals, but save Pennsylvanians money in the process. Establishing energy efficiency standards is an effortless way everyone can reduce their carbon footprint without making radical changes to their daily lives.”
“The cleanest, cheapest energy is the energy that you don’t need to use in the first place. That’s why energy efficiency standards are so valuable,” said Flora Cardoni, PennEnvironment’s Field Director. “Small but mighty, appliance efficiency standards are a simple way to reduce energy consumption, lower pollution, and generate huge savings for Pennsylvania consumers and businesses.”
The benefits from these efficiency standards include the following. By 2030, these standards would:
- Save 610 gigawatt hours of electricity in one year — enough energy to power 56,322 homes.
- Reduce annual carbon emissions by 384,000 metric tons each year, equivalent to 85,452 gasoline powered cars driven for a year.
- Save 9.6 billion gallons of water annually, as much as used by 177,896 Pennsylvania homes each year.
- Reduce consumer utility bills by $294 million each year, with savings of up to $600 million per year by 2040.
“I hear every week from my friends and neighbors that skyrocketing utility bills are devastating their home budgets,” said Representative Tom Mehaffie. “Appliances with greatly increased efficiency can help our households use less energy overall, which can reduce those bills and ease the stress on families.”
The bill was introduced with nearly 50 cosponsors including:
Representatives O’Mara, Mehaffie, Guenst, Sanchez, Madden, Schlossberg, Delloso, Hill-Evans, Fiedler, Howard, Khan, Sappey, Steele, Otten, Malagari, Rabb, T. Davis, Shusterman, Kinkead, Mullins, Hohenstein, Innamorato, Benham, Mcneill, Scott, Vitali, Probst, Deasy, Borowski, Harkins, Solomon, Briggs, Samuelson, Salisbury, Burgos, Isaacson, Daley, Sturla, Galloway, Krajewski, Boyle, Kim, Fleming, D. Williams, Green, Frankel, Brennan, N. Nelson, and Freeman.
“It makes no sense for us to continue using energy-wasting technologies when we can replace them with clean, efficient appliances that lower emissions, improve public health and lower utility bills. And efficient appliances aren’t foreign products by any stretch — they are already commonly bought and sold on the market,” said Cardoni. “Let’s make sure Pennsylvania is a part of the movement to embrace products that protect our planet and our pocketbooks.”
PennEnvironment works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. For more information about our work, visit www.PennEnvironment.org. PennEnvironment is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.