OLYMPIA – A bill increasing appliance efficiency – one of the simplest yet most overlooked ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water use – passed off the House floor this afternoon.
HB 1444, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Mt. Vernon), updates the state’s Efficiency Standard Code by requiring 17 more private and commercial appliances and products in the state to reduce energy and water use. The bill also repeals a 28-year-old water efficiency law that used outdated efficiency standards.
According to state Department of Commerce estimates, over the next 15 years the bill would save:
- $2 billion of net cost savings;
- Nearly 10 million megawatt-hours of electricity;
- 5 million therms of natural gas;
- 149 billion gallons of water; and
- 98 million metric tons of carbon.
“People don’t realize the tremendous amount of energy and water that home and business appliances use,” Morris said. “I’ve sponsored a number of bills like this over the years because of the amazing savings consumers reap by using more efficient products, and how much our carbon footprint can be reduced.”
Morris noted products already exist that meet the bill’s standards, and that the federal government and/or other states have already reviewed and adopted them.
Products affected by the bill range from air compressors, commercial fryers and dishwashers, to faucets, showerheads and water coolers, among others. A complete list can be found in the bill analysis.
Grid-ready water heaters
The bill also creates a first-in-the-nation standard that will require electric water heaters to “talk” to the energy grid so that electricity use can be managed to produce more output during peak usage, and conserve energy during down times.