Plug-in Equipment Energy Efficiency Bill Advances in California Legislature

AB 1094 could save billions of dollars and help achieve California climate goals

SACRAMENTO (April 28, 2015) Legislation to help curb energy waste from the 50-plus plugged-in appliances, electronics, and miscellaneous electrical devices in the average California household, such as video equipment and kitchen appliances, as well as similar power-guzzling equipment in commercial buildings, passed its second hurdle late yesterday.

“Scaling up plug-in equipment efficiency measures could cut annual electricity bills by $2.5 to $4 billion for California’s consumers, or about $150 to $250 per household, and businesses, as well as avoid substantial amounts of pollution while helping the state meet its carbon reduction and clean energy goals,” said Pierre Delforge, NRDC’s director of high tech sector energy efficiency. 

The State Assembly Natural Resources Committee chaired by Assembly Member Das Williams, the bill’s author, passed AB 1094—Plug-In Equipment Energy Efficiency, co-authored by Senators Fran Pavley and Lois Wolk—on a bipartisan vote of 7 to 2. The legislation, which is sponsored by the NRDC, calls for a strategic and comprehensive approach to the growing problem, including an analysis of plug-in electricity consumption, the establishment of energy-saving targets, and the development of a plan to achieve them. It already passed the Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce Committee 11-3 last week and moves next to the Appropriations Committee.

 “This is an important bill for all Californians because plug-in equipment is the largest area of electricity consumption without a cohesive approach and coordinated goals and efforts to save energy,” said Williams. “Unfortunately, much of it is being wasted by equipment that wasn’t designed with efficiency best practices, and by devices that are drawing power around the clock even when the user believes it’s off.

“We need to get a handle on this significant problem and make sure all Californians, especially our low-income households with already limited disposable income, aren’t unwittingly wasting their hard-earned money this way,” he said.

According to NRDC’s newly published issue brief on plug-in equipment energy efficiency, electricity generation is California’s second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (after transportation). Increasing the efficiency of plug-in equipment is a key strategy to achieve a clean electricity grid in the most cost-effective manner. It could also reduce California’s utility bills and climate emissions by avoiding seven to 10 large power plants (500-megawatt) worth of electricity consumption.

Note: Delforge posted a blog on the topic last week at An NRDC issue brief on the need for plug-in energy efficiency is at



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