Appliance efficiency bill would mark “huge leap forward” in reducing Nevada’s carbon footprint

Audio: an interview with Christine Brinker from the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project

Photo: the Ally

Appliances in American homes and businesses use electricity, natural gas, propane, fuel oil, wood, and kerosene to power devices ranging from air conditioners, hot water heaters, and computers to deep fat fryers, stadium lighting, and massive ventilation systems in casinos and office buildings. Assembly Bill 383, if made law, would require the Director of the Nevada Office of Energy to adopt energy efficiency standards for a wide range of appliances used and sold in Nevada.

Estimates by the Appliance Standards Awareness Project show that Nevada would save more than $29 million a year by 2035 while removing the carbon emissions equivalent of 28,000 cars from our roads.

To learn more about AB383 we spoke with Christine Brinker, a member of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project buildings efficiency team.

See music credits below.

The U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office administers the Appliance Standards Program, which functions as a central clearinghouse for appliance efficiency standards.

Federal administration of appliance efficiency began in 1975 with the the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.

Since the Appliance Standards Program launched in 1987, the DOE estimates American consumers have collectively saved more than $2 trillion in reduced energy consumption and and associated spending.

In 1992, U.S. Federal Trade Commission and EPA managers launched the now familiar ENERGY STAR label for office products. 

Trickle Up Efficiency Standards

The DOE does extensive appliance testing and rating. Federal standards cover roughly 90 percent of home energy use, 60 percent of commercial building use, and 30 percent of industrial energy use, according to the DOE.

But states have and continue to play a critical role in expanding and updating federal efficiency standards. According to the National Center of State Legislatures, in 2019, 42 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico considered more than 500 pieces of legislation related to energy efficiency. More than 80 measures were enacted.

In Nevada, during the 2019 session of the State Legislature, lawmakers passed and signed into law AB54, a measure that set new efficiency standards for lights sold in the state. 

Evolving state standards ultimately add to the federal government’s unified catalog, so manufacturers can work with a consistent set of standards and not a potentially profit-killing patchwork of conflicting state and local regulations.  

Hear more details in the audio interview posted above.

Music credits as reported to the Public Radio Exchange, in order of appearance:

Song: Just a Metaphor
Artist: Rhythmphoria
Album: Just a Metaphor
Label: Nidra Music
Date: 2020
Duration: 1:32

Song: Driftwood
Artist: Rena Jones
Album: Driftwood
Label: Imports
Date: 2006
Duration: 2:08

Song:Cypress
Artist: Tycho
Album: Simulcast
Label: Mom + Pop
Date: 2020
Duration: 2:24

Song: Sea of Bubbles
Artist: Rena Jones
Album: Driftwood
Label: Imports
Date: 2006
Duration: 4:20

Song: Sefi Ramirez
Artist: Kutiman
Album: White Monkey
Label: Boys and Girls
Date: 2018
Duration: :59