Speaking of bills passing the state House, a bill sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, that would set energy efficiency standards for certain products passed the House.
It passed 56-41, with one member excused.
The bill would set energy efficiency minimums for the following products made starting in 2012 and sold in the state:
• Compact audio products
• DVD players DVRs
• State-regulated external power supplies
Under current state law, the following products already have energy efficiency standards:
• Automatic commercial ice cube machines
• Certain wine chillers
• Commercial hot food holding cabinets
• Commercial refrigerators and freezers
• Tub spout diverters (anyone know what these are?)
• Certain incandescent reflector lights
• Pool heaters, residential pool pumps, and portable electrical spas
• Hot-water dispensers and mini-tank electric water heaters
• Bottle-type and point-of-use water dispensers
Federal law lets states set minimum standards for products that aren’t already addressed in federal law. Click here to see the bill report.
Our Dems, Morris and Rep. Kris Lytton, D-Anacortes, voted for it. Our Republicans, Reps. Jason Overstreet, R-Blaine, and Vincent Buys, R-Everson, voted against it.
“Energy efficiency is our best and easiest way of dealing with future power needs and reducing current demand,” Morris said in a press release. “We must keep up with other states, particularly California, or risk becoming a dumping ground for products that waste energy and money.”
At the hearing, the arguments for: Washington has been a leader in energy efficiency standards. Conserving power helps us meet greenhouse gas emission limits. When states adopt standards, the U.S. Department of Energy will consider adopting a federal standard.
Arguments against at the hearing: A state-by-state approach makes it rough for multi-state retailers to comply, and it drives up costs for consumers. An incentive approach is better than mandates, especially in a fast-changing industry.
This now heads to the Senate for consideration.