North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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NC joins coalition of states to win efficiency standards for appliances

Release date: 11/13/2006

Raleigh: More efficient household appliances will help consumers save money and energy under an agreement reached by North Carolina and 14 other states, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.

The agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will set new standards to increase the energy efficiency of many types of appliances, including ovens, dishwashers, water heaters and air conditioners. This action settles a federal lawsuit brought against the DOE by North Carolina and a coalition of 14 other states, the City of New York and three public interest groups.

“Consumers don’t need power hungry appliances adding to their high energy bills,” said Cooper. “This is a smart settlement that will save money and help the environment.”

In the 1980's, Congress directed the DOE to periodically update existing efficiency standards for a wide range of consumer products under specific deadlines. The energy department has failed to issue updated standards and is as much as 14 years late in developing standards for some products. In September 2005, after attempting to resolve the delays, a coalition of states filed suit to compel DOE to catch up on the lapsed deadlines. The lawsuit sought a binding schedule for issuing more efficient standards, which the Department has agreed to in the settlement announced today.

The use of energy efficient appliances reduces air pollution, global warming, and other environmental problems while also saving consumers money. Increased energy efficiency also improves the reliability of the electric grid.

The agreement was signed by United States District Court Judge John E. Sprizzo of the Southern District of New York.

The following state attorneys general joined in the lawsuit: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin. Other parties include the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the California Energy Commission, the City of New York, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants and the Texas Ratepayers Organization to Save Energy.