New appliance efficiency regulations being considered

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Sept. 30, 2011 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has launched a proceeding to amend the Appliance Efficiency Regulations.  The scoping order is proposed to cover a three-year period from 2012–2014.

The CEC is particularly interested in the following products, but may consider others:

  1. Computers and Servers
  2. Set Top Boxes
  3. Commercial Clothes Dryers
  4. Refrigeration/Condensing Units
  5. Linear Fluorescent Fixtures
  6. LED Lamps, Outdoor Lighting
  7. Irrigation Controls
  8. Commercial Dishwashers
  9. Plug In Luminous Signs

CMTA submitted comments in this proceeding. A regulatory standard for minimum energy efficiency for a particular appliance or consumer electronics product may not be the optimum way to achieve energy savings while meeting other consumer goals.We’ve asked the Commission to answer a number of questions to determine whether to proceed with a regulatory strategy on a particular product:

  1. Have projections of energy savings fully accounted for the prospective impact of existing programs and initiatives, including ENERGY STAR and industry initiatives?
  2. Would a state standard be duplicative, inconsistent or federally preempted?
  3. Are some products rapidly evolving and turning over in the market and therefore regulations could stifle innovation and harm consumers?
  4. Is the data being relied upon to determine the need for regulation up to date, and are appropriate industry standards being used to measure energy use?

It is CMTA’s belief that innovation, consumer demand and preferences should be allowed to drive energy efficiency improvements wherever possible.  Such an approach is particularly important when consumer behavior could intentionally or accidentally negate a product feature designed to save energy but instead disturbs the consumer experience.  The Commission should only impose appliance standards as a last resort, where significant energy savings could be achieved only through a regulatory standard that does not unduly raise costs or otherwise reduce value for the consumer.

To see the details for the rulemaking: www.energy.ca.gov/appliances/2011rulemaking

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