House Moves Toward Protecting Appliance Efficiency Standards

On Friday, March 17, the House Energy & Technology Committee voted to pass H.411, a bill that protects the Federal appliance efficiency standards from Federal rollbacks. The bill passed with tripartisan support, with only one representative (Representative Van Wyck, Addison-3) voting against it. It then passed the full House on a voice vote and has moved on to the Senate.

What does H.411 do?
Appliance standards specify the minimum level of energy and/or water efficiency for home and business products. Federal energy and water efficiency standards are one of the most cost-effective public policies for saving citizens’ money and protecting the environment. Vermont consumers save on average $555 per year on their utility bills thanks to these standards.

Under the Trump administration, activity on federal standards has stalled, and Congress is threatening to go backwards. H.411 would mandate that if the Federal standards are repealed, rolled back, or withdrawn, Vermont would adopt those same standards as they exist today.

California has adopted Federal standards on a state level since the early 90s, and has worked to expand standards to other appliances not covered under the Federal standards. If H.411 passes, Vermont will join California in leading the fight to protect Federal efficiency standards.

What happened to H.410?
H.410 was introduced as a companion bill to H.411. H.410 would expand our state standards to include those that California has adopted, for products not currently covered by Federal standards, like your computer and monitor. It would allow Vermont to keep making forward progress on efficiency standards even as the Feds attack efficiency programs and research.

The Energy & Technology Committee wanted to take more time to investigate these new standards and consider the impact to Vermont. Since they were up against a legislative deadline, they decided to focus on H.411 and protecting the existing standards. VPIRG and our partners will continue to advocate for H.410 and the expanded standards in the next session.

What’s next and how can I help?
H.411 will be considered by the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee this week.

Click here to sign the petition urging legislators to pass H.411 and H.410.

Urge your Senators on the Senate Natural Resources Committee to support H.411 by calling the State House and leaving a message.

State House: 800-322-5616

  • Senator Chris Bray, Chair (Addison)
  • Senator Brian Campion, Vice Chair (Bennington)
  • Senator Mark MacDonald (Orange)
  • Senator John Rodgers (Essex-Orleans)
  • Senator Chris Pearson (Chittenden)

Message: “Please support H.411, a bill that will protect the Federal appliance efficiency standards, which save money and energy for all Vermonters.”  

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