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Environment Maine supports legislation to establish appliance energy and water efficiency standards

For Immediate Release

On March 29, 2021, Environment Maine's State Director Anya Fetcher testified before the Maine Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resourcess in support of LD 940, a proposed bill to establish appliance energy and water efficiency standards in Maine. You can view the full recording of the hearing here. Begin at minute 2:27:35 to watch from the beginning, or jump to our testimony, which begins at 3:16:55.

Below is the written testimony submitted to the committee:

Sen. Brenner, Rep. Tucker, and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources;

My name is Anya Fetcher and I am submitting testimony on behalf of Environment Maine and our thousands of members across the state in strong support of LD 940: An Act to Establish Appliance Energy and Water Standards, which would set energy efficiency standards for eight appliances and plumbing fixtures in Maine homes and businesses. Establishing minimum efficiency standards for our appliances will save energy, reduce pollution and lower utility bills. We need your leadership to ensure that our state adopts these commonsense standards to protect our planet, public health, and our pocketbooks. 

Reducing energy waste is one of Maine’s best weapons in the fight against global warming. From sea level rise to increased temperatures, we are already seeing the impacts of climate change in our state and across the country. Using energy inefficiently only exacerbates those issues as it increases pollution in our air and water, costs Mainers money and threatens our ability to repower our energy systems with 100 percent renewable sources.

One practical solution to energy waste in Maine is to establish minimum energy efficiency standards for our appliances and plumbing fixtures to ensure that they are not needlessly wasting energy and water. Representative William Pluecker proposed LD 940 which would set standards for eight products, including computers and showerheads. 

If implemented, only appliances that meet these standards could be sold in Maine beginning in 2023, and we would see energy savings starting in 2025. 

According the the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, by 2025, LD 940 would reap the following annual benefits in Maine:

  • It would save 24 gigawatts of electricity which is enough to power 3,000 homes each year.
  • It would prevent 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
  • It would save 296,000,000 gallons of water.
  • It would lower consumer utility bills by $9 million annually by 2025, and $36 million annually by 2035.

All of those annual savings would only continue to go up each consecutive year. 

Adopting appliance efficiency standards in Maine is a commonsense opportunity to reduce energy waste and progress us towards a greener future and help us reach the goals laid out in Maine’s Climate Action Plan.

If we enact these standards, Maine will join a club of appliance standard leaders that have adopted or updated their standards in the last two years including California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Vermont and Washington. Along the east coast, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are considering implementing new standards as well. Just last week, Massachusetts passed higher appliance efficiency standards as part of a larger climate bill.

We hope you will stand with us in support of this bill to protect our planet, public health and our pocketbooks. It makes no sense for us to allow our appliances and plumbing fixtures to continue to needlessly waste energy. We hope that Maine will be the next one to take advantage of the cleanest form of energy there is -- the energy we never use in the first place. 

Sincerely,

Anya FetcherState DirectorEnvironment Maine