PROVIDENCE— Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced Friday with eight other state attorneys general, the California Energy Commission and the city of New York an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy that requires the department to follow a timetable for updating overdue energy efficiency standards for four common commercial appliances.
The Department of Energy agreed to the commitment after missing legal deadlines set by the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act for revising efficiency standards for four appliances: walk-in coolers and freezers, metal halide lamps, electric motors and commercial refrigeration equipment.
The nation will see “substantial cuts in air, water and climate change pollution” by bolstering efficiency standards for these four types of common commercial equipment, the Attorney General’s office said in a release.
Additionally, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimated that businesses and consumers will save $156 million per month and $3.8 billion per year by 2035 with the updated standards, according to the release.
If the Department of Energy fails to meet any of the deadlines, the multi-state coalition may take legal action under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to force the department to update the efficiency standards.
The agreement establishes the Department of Energy’s commitment to propose standards for metal halide lamps, commercial refrigeration equipment and walk-in coolers and freezers this month, and for electric motors by November. The department will need to finalize the standards early next year.
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act originally required updated standards by Jan. 1, 2012 for walk-in coolers and freezers and metal halide lamps, and by Jan. 1, 2013 for commercial refrigeration equipment and electric motors.
Joining in the agreement are the Attorneys General of New York, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, the California Energy Commission and the Corporation Counsel of New York City.