FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 21, 2017
Contact: Joey Keefe | (505) 259-4471
Liz Thomson Joins State Legislators Calling on Federal Government to Protect Efficiency Standards
SANTA FE, N.M. - Last week State Representative Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson joined 84 legislators from 33 states in a letter urging the Department of Energy and Congress to maintain energy efficiency programs.
“As we stand, New Mexico ranks 35th for energy efficiency, and we can strive to be better,” said Thomson. “New Mexicans are saving over $400 a year on energy costs due to current energy efficiency standards. We need to continue fighting for better efficiency standards and go even further through increased renewable energy development to ensure the best possible air and water quality for future generations.”
Energy efficiency standards set a minimum standard for more than 60 different appliances.The Department of Energy (DOE) is required to work with manufacturers to update standards that save consumers money, and the program has been supported by every U.S. president since, and including, Gerald Ford.
“We are now saving more than $500 annually per household as a result of these standards,” said Vermont Representative Curt McCormack, who initiated the letter. “Even with industry's strong support of the standards, the White House and certain members of Congress are considering cutting them.”
Federal spending bills have proposed as much as a 47% cut to DOE’s budget, with the Building Technologies Office--which administers efficiency standards for appliances--being reduced by 54%. Meanwhile, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy calculated that there were more than 2.2 million energy efficiency jobs in 2016, which is more than fossil fuels and renewables combined.
“Energy efficiency is a powerful and cost-effective tool for reducing energy use and subsequently carbon emissions,” said Jeff Mauk, executive director of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators, a nonpartisan network of more than 1,000 legislators focused on climate and conservation issues. “These standards save consumers money while benefitting the environment. It’s a win-win scenario.”
A link to the final letter is available here.