New energy efficiency standards to help Massachusetts families save money

BOSTON (WWLP) – An agreement was made Wednesday between the Biden administration’s Department of Energy and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

Healey joined a coalition of 17 states, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York when announcing the agreement. The agreement is to provide updated energy efficiency standards for 20 categories of common consumer products and commercial equipment like residential furnaces, microwave ovens, room air conditioners, and laundry machines.

With these new federal standards in place, there is an expectation that American families will save more than $600 billion on utility bills by 2050. Additionally, over 90 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions are to be avoided by the year 2040.

According to a new release sent to 22News, residents will intend to have lower costs to power their appliances. This in exchange will also lead to climate change being reduced.

“This settlement is a big win for our residents, our country, and our planet,” AG Healey said. “We’re grateful to the Biden Administration, our multistate partners, and appliance manufacturers for reaching this agreement that will save Massachusetts families millions of dollars on their utility bills and reduce harmful air pollution.”

With Wednesday’s agreement, the coalition has resolved a complaint filed in November 2020, inside the US District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Trump Administration’s Department of Energy for failing to update energy sufficiency standard deadlines provided by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA).

“This agreement is essential for catching up on missed deadlines as quickly as possible in order for the incredible consumer, economic, public health and environmental benefits of updated standards to be realized,” said Richard Eckman, energy advocate at the Consumer Federation of America. “Now more than ever, consumers can use the additional pocketbook savings that updated efficiency standards will provide in the billions annually thanks to the increased energy efficiency of common household appliances. The agreement is also crucial in order to prevent millions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change from being emitted. We’re looking forward to working with the Department of Energy in moving forward with updates to appliance efficiency standards.”

“We applaud this settlement, which will save huge amounts of energy and keep money in the pockets of consumers across America, including the 85,000 low-income public housing tenants Mass Union represents,” said Jack Cooper, executive director at the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants.

Allegedly, the coalition announced that failing to meet EPCA deadlines for review and revision of efficiency standards, deprived American families of benefits. Such as lower energy bills, a more reliable electricity grid, and reduced emissions of dangerous air pollutants that contribute to climate change and harm public health.

According to this settlement, the Department of Energy will publish final standards by no later than June 2023 for some of the subject product categories, and by no later than November 2024 for the rest.

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