KUNM Local
2:55 pm
Mon March 8, 2010

Senator Bingaman to lead senate committee discussion on stronger appliance efficiency requirements

Albuquerque, NM – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which Bingaman chairs, will hear proposals to strengthen requirements for furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and streetlights.

Bingaman is a co-sponsor of the legislation. He says there are currently such standards in place for 33 other consumer products.

BINGAMAN: "Essentially we're saying you know, if you're a refrigerator manufacturer, and you wanna sell refrigerators in the United States, beginning in a certain year, you have to meet a certain efficiency standard with the refrigerators you're going to sell."

Bingaman says the efficiency requirements are meant to be coupled with new rebate programs the Senate committee will also discuss later this week.

Those proposals would partially reimburse consumers who install more efficient appliances or make their homes more efficient.

BINGAMAN: "The estimate that the Department of Energy has made is that by 2020, we will have reduced electricity demand in the country by about fifteen percent from what it otherwise would have been as a result of all of these different efficiency standards."

Bingaman says he hopes eventually Congress will also mandate higher efficiency in building codes.

The rebate programs his Senate committee will consider on Wednesday are estimated to create as many as 150,000 jobs across the country.