New Jersey Senate Committee Passes Bill To Save Appliance-Users Money And Reduce Pollution

TRENTON, NJ (November 8, 2021) — Today’s passage by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee sets up for a full floor vote New Jersey’s first legislative update to appliance energy standards in15 years.

“With today’s successful committee vote, we are one step away from saving ratepayers money on their utility bills,” said Henry Gajda, Public Policy Director, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. “Updating appliance standards is a common-sense policy that has drastic benefits. However, as states surrounding the Garden State update their standards, we could become a dumping ground for costly, antiquated products, so time is ticking to protect our residents. We respectfully urge Senate President Sweeney to post S3324/A5160 up for a full floor vote in the next voting session.”

Senate Bill 3324 would update efficiency standards for 17 residential and commercial appliances, ranging from lamps and shower heads to commercial fryers and faucets.

With bipartisan sponsorship of Senator Bob Smith (D) and Senator Kip Bateman (R), and cosponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg (D), Patrick Diegnan (D), Vin Gopal (D), and Troy Singleton (D) the bill would make New Jersey the ninth state to enact new standards in the past two years. In another 10 states, including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Maryland, efforts toward updated standards are underway.

“Updated energy efficiency standards will save costs to NJ ratepayers and reduce indoor and outdoor air pollution. The bill especially benefits lower income NJ residents who pay disproportionately higher utility bills partly due to inefficient appliances,” said Trina Malik, Director of Climate Mitigation, The Nature Conservancy. “Since there are no upfront higher costs for most residential appliances, residents start saving money immediately. This is a common sense piece of legislation that is good for the environment and good for the economy.”

Companion legislation, sponsored by Assemblymen Wayne DeAngelo (D), Herb Conaway Jr (D), and Andrew Zwicker (D), and features the co-sponsorship of 20 other assembly members, has already been passed by a bipartisan vote in May. The legislation does not require consumers or businesses to buy new products. It simply gives everyone more energy-efficient choices by raising existing standards to remove the least efficient products from the market.

If New Jersey adopts updated appliance energy standards in 2021, residents, businesses, and local and state governments will save over $130 million annually by 2026, which can be re-invested in the local New Jersey economy, spurring job creation. These savings grow to nearly $400 million annually by 2035. These energy savings annually are equivalent to the reduced electricity consumption of 32,000 New Jersey households, natural gas consumption of 21,000 households, water consumption of 72,000 households and emissions from about 38,000 cars in one year, according to research by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), a national organization that works with businesses, environmental organizations and manufacturers for energy efficiency.

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