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Sen. Shaheen & Rep. Welch Urge the Biden Administration to Finalize Long-Neglected Appliance Efficiency Standards

(Washington, DC)  U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (VT-AL) sent a letter to the Department of Energy Secretary (DOE) Jennifer Granholm and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Shalanda Young, asking that they review and finalize outstanding appliance efficiency standards. By law, the Department of Energy must review appliance efficiency standards every six years, but many have not been updated in decades. As a result, inefficient appliances continue to circulate, emitting excess greenhouse gases and driving up energy bills for American families. Updating all outstanding standards would result in major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and save consumers money.


“Energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest way to address our economy’s energy needs, and the federal government has an important responsibility to help our nation prioritize that effort,” said Senator Shaheen. “I urge the Department of Energy to swiftly update appliance efficiency standards so American families can keep their energy bills down, while being better stewards of the environment. Everyone benefits from energy efficiency investments, which build a more sustainable and prosperous future in our communities and around the country.”


“Energy efficiency is a win-win-win: it cuts down on families’ energy bills, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates good jobs,” said Representative Welch. “But our government has a role to play: the Department of Energy must keep efficiency standards up-to-date, so that Americans can access the most efficient appliances possible. I encourage the Biden administration to put in place the necessary staff and processes to make these long-overdue updates.”


“Getting our efficiency standards program back on track is a win-win for the planet and consumers. Ensuring that our appliances are not needlessly wasting energy saves U.S. households and businesses money on their utility bills and prevents the release of dangerous climate-warming pollution,” said Joe Vukovich, Energy Efficiency Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Appliance standards are critical for cutting utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions, but right now they’re woefully out of date,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). “The Biden administration has a big job to update standards for dozens of products and it should act with far more urgency. Every delay means more inefficient appliances and equipment that cause needless emissions for years or decades.” 

“Appliance standards are one of the single most effective energy saving policies in the country,” said Paula Glover, President of the Alliance to Save Energy. “In fact, each year, appliance standards help avoid carbon emissions equal to 63 million vehicles – that’s 11 Los Angeles-worth of cars. At a time when these carbon reductions and energy savings for consumers could not be more important for the environment and for Americans’ pockets, we need to pick up the pace and ensure these standards are fully up-to-date and working as intended. That’s why we’re calling on the Department of Energy to get the staffing and resources in place to update the dozens of standards that will provide relief to American families.”

“The administration can’t leave tools on the shelf if it aims to meet the President’s climate goals. The pace of progress on appliance standards hasn’t been strong enough and Congress is right to take note,” said Andrew deLaski, Executive Director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP). “Whether its light bulbs or furnaces, these models we still see with yesterday’s technology cost consumers and hurt the climate. The administration can be a hero for both.”


Senator Shaheen and Representative Welch were joined by the following Senators:
Michael Bennet (D-CO), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).


Senator Shaheen and Representative Welch were joined by the following U.S. Representatives: Nannette Barragán (CA-44), Donald Beyer (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Ed Case (HI-01), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Yvette Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Sharice Davids (KS-03), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Michael Doyle (PA-18), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Ann Kuster (NH-02), John Larson (CT-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Doris Matsui (CA-06), A. Donald McEachin (VA-04), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Marie Newman (IL-03), Scott Peters (CA-52), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Deborah Ross (NC-02), Robert Scott (VA-03), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).


To read the full letter, please click here.