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California Announces 15 New Appliance Efficiency Standards, Saving Consumers Billions Nationwide
Electronics with Biggest Savings Potential Placed on Slower Track

SAN FRANCISCO (March 19, 2014)—The California Energy Commission’s announcement today that it will establish efficiency standards for 15 product categories including lighting, consumer electronics, and water-using products will result in $2 billion in energy bill savings in the state and nationwide,  according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Today’s announcement is good news for climate protection and for consumer pocketbooks. The commission’s next step is to publish draft standards and hold stakeholder workshops on all the products before finalizing the standards Electronics products like computers, monitors, game consoles and routers --which represent nearly half of the electricity savings potential of the 15 product categories included in the rulemaking--were placed on a slower track, with draft standards due in November 2014 and February 2015. Due to the significant amount of work required, the commission should hold workshops before November in order to help finalize standards for these products as soon as possible next year, NRDC said.

Pierre Delforge, director of high-tech energy efficiency for NRDC, issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision continues a 30-year legacy of groundbreaking appliance efficiency standards that have already saved Californians more than $40 billion on their energy bills and led to improved technology in products sold nationwide. We encourage the commission to move forward quickly on the standards, and especially on those product categories with the largest energy-savings potential such as consumer electronics.”

Because California is home to one in eight U.S. residents, manufacturers who improve their products to offer them in such a large market often also sell the upgraded versions across the nation and sometimes the world.

The list released today addresses the 15 products in five groups: 

  • Group 1, with draft standards in April 2014: faucets, toilets, urinals, air filters, and dimming ballasts..
  • Group 2, draft standards due May 2014: LED lamps and small diameter reflector lamps.
  • Group 3, draft standards due August 2014: pool pump motors and portable electric spas (hot tubs).
  • Group 4, draft standards due November 2014: computers, monitors and displays.
  • Group 5, draft standards due February 2015: network equipment (modems and routers), game consoles, and commercial clothes dryers.

Delforge’s blog is at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/pdelforge/california_moving_forward_on_1.html.

Meanwhile, the federal government recently issued two new efficiency standards.

Meg Waltner blogs about the commercial ice makers proposal here:

Ed Osann blogs about the one for commercial clothes washers at: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/eosann/proposed_coin-op_washer_effici.html).

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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