For Immediate Release:
September 20, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares – (505) 321-4372
New Standards Will Save Millions of Dollars for Families Nationwide and Help Protect the Planet
ALBUQUERQUE – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas today announced an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) committing DOE to a new timetable for updating energy efficiency standards for 20 categories of common consumer products and commercial equipment. The impacted products and equipment range from residential furnaces to laundry machines to electric motors. According to experts’ estimates, updated standards for these products could provide more than $600 billion in total utility bill savings to American families by 2050 and avoid more than 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2040.
AG Balderas joins a coalition of 17 states, the District of Columbia, and the City of New York in today’s agreement, which resolves a complaint the coalition filed against DOE in 2020. The complaint alleged DOE failed to comply with deadlines for updating energy efficiency standards for a range of product categories set by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA).
“Every New Mexican deserves access to products that cost less to operate, and these energy security standards are critical to ensuring a clean energy future, “ said Attorney General Balderas.
DOE’s energy efficiency standards currently cover more than 60 product categories. Nationwide, these products together use about 90 percent of the total amount of energy used in homes, 60 percent of the total amount of energy used in commercial buildings, and 30 percent of the total amount of energy used in industrial facilities.
The EPCA requires DOE to periodically review and revise these efficiency standards to ensure they are set at the maximum, technically feasible and cost-effective efficiency level in order to save energy and reduce consumer and business utility costs. In 2020, the coalition filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York claiming DOE had missed EPCA deadlines for review and revision of efficiency standards for multiple product categories. In the filing, the coalition alleged that in failing to meet deadlines, DOE deprived American families of the benefits of lower energy bills, a more reliable electricity grid, and reduced emissions of dangerous air pollutants that contribute to climate change and harm public health.
Joining AG Balderas in today’s agreement are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as the City of New York.
The Consent Decree and joint letter are attached.