California Bill SB 454 Helps Protect Consumers, Workers and Businesses

My husband and I are in the market for a new refrigerator. The one we have came with the house we bought in 2002. It works okay, but is showing signs of age. We’ve had to patch up the door shelves with duct tape so it’s time for an upgrade. As I wrote previously, I am happy to live in California where many new products are required to meet basic energy efficiency standards that save consumers money and electricity. Thanks to California’s leadership, efficiency standards for refrigerators have gone national and international; and, as my colleague David Goldstein points out, the U.S. Department of Energy recently announced the next set of refrigerator standards. Because of efficiency requirements that advance and push better technology with no impact on performance or consumer choice, we can shop for our new refrigerator knowing that it will use significantly less electricity than our 10-year old one.                                                

SB 454, a bill that gives the California Energy Commission more authority to enforce its requirements for energy efficient appliances, is now on Governor Brown’s desk awaiting his signature. SB 454 will help ensure that consumers get what they pay for when they buy new products like refrigerators, televisions, light bulbs and water heaters. The bill also sets up a safe guard to ensure that rebates for home efficiency upgrades are only paid when building permit and contractor licensing requirements are satisfied. 

My colleague Noah Long and I spent the past several months working with Senator Pavley on the bill.  We partnered closely with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, as well as contractors, businesses, labor and other environmental groups.   

Workers, law abiding businesses and environmental groups all support SB 454 because better enforcement of efficiency requirements ensures that no one is able to skirt the law and undercut competitors.  Improving compliance also ensures that we actually get the energy savings we expect; thereby saving us money and reducing pollution.    

SB 454 saves money for the state and its citizens, reduces pollution, and creates a level playing field for workers and businesses – all good reasons it should be signed into law right away. The bill will help California’s economic recovery and move us toward a clean energy future. Urge Governor Brown to sign SB 454 and other key environmental bills by taking action here.