Alliance to Save Energy Praises DOE for On-Time Plan for Efficiency Standards, Urges Adherence to Plan’s Deadlines

Release Date: Thursday, February 2, 2006

Washington, DC; February 2, 2006 – The Alliance to Save Energy today commended the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for meeting Congress’ deadline for a proposed plan and schedule for new appliance energy-efficiency standards. The Alliance pledged continued cooperation with DOE to expedite the rulemakings to set the standards, particularly those that will deliver the greatest energy savings, and urged the department to stick to its new deadlines.

“The new schedule is a good first step away from endless delays and toward the tremendous savings that energy-efficiency standards make possible,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “Now, DOE must accelerate its pace and issue the new standards quickly. Saved energy translates directly into lower energy bills, lower natural gas and electricity prices, less dependence on imported energy, improved electric grid reliability, and less greenhouse gas pollution.”

The Alliance said it also was encouraged that DOE met a deadline in the new energy law, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), to deliver to Congress a report on progress toward issuing long-overdue energy-efficiency standards. DOE has missed, in some cases by many years, legal deadlines for about 20 pending standards.

“DOE has set an ambitious schedule,” Callahan said. “Now we need to give them the resources, the assistance, and the oversight they need to make sure that they proceed to issue the standards as rapidly as they issued the mandated report to Congress.”

The Alliance noted that by 2030, according to estimates by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the standards pending at DOE could save 180 billion kilowatt-hours and about $15 billion in utility bills each year. These savings are on top of anticipated annual savings by 2020 from existing standards, including those in EPAct 2005, of 400 billion kilowatt-hours and about $34 billion in utility bills.

The Alliance congratulated DOE for being responsive to the call from the Alliance and other advocacy groups to issue all overdue standards by the end of 2010 – the new schedule would complete the standards explicitly required by EPAct 2005 and by previous laws by mid-2011.