A historic agreement has been signed by a consortium of appliance manufacturers and environmental groups that will keep 550 million metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over 30 years by setting new Federal minimum standards that raise energy efficiency increases nationwide in a range of consumer appliances by 2014.
The recommended standards and tax credits will save the US more than 9 quads of energy over 30 years, or roughly enough to meet the total energy needs of 40 percent of American homes for one year, according to a DOE analysis.
The new minimum standards they agreed to mean that all refrigerators will reduce current energy use by at least 20%, clothes washers by 40%, air conditioners by at least 10%, dishwashers by 14% and clothes dryers by 5% over the next 4 years.
Many of the new minimum standards are based on levels of efficiency that previously earned federal tax credits for at that time advanced levels of efficiency, illustrating how tax credits that bring down the cost of innovative technology can contribute towards transforming markets towards higher efficiency products.
The agreement is between the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and was brokered by a wide variety of major environmental interests ranging from the NRDC to Earthjustice, and from the California Energy Commission to the Alliance to Save Energy.
By cementing a preliminary agreement between environmental organizations and appliance manufacturers first, Senate obstruction of clean energy legislation is more easily bypassed.
“Consensus agreements such as this generally attract bipartisan support. I look forward to working with my colleagues to see if these standards can be incorporated into legislation,” notes Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Because so many of the major subjects of this proposed legislation (including Whirpool and GE) have already agreed to jointly abide by changes that reduce their carbon emissions on an industry-wide basis, there will hardly be a reason for the GOP to filibuster action on these provisions.
So we won’t expect hysterical Tea Party protests ranting against efficient fridges to be all over the corporate media this summer.
Image: Gay Patriot