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ANSI Members Push For Improvements in Emerging Energy Legislation

New York, Mar 11, 2003

As consumers become more actively involved in all aspects of energy efficiency – from lamps and refrigerators to commercial cooling and heating systems— many look to purchase home appliances labeled as meeting or exceeding federal efficiency standards.

In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier today, the High Tech Energy Working Group (HTEWG), a broad based business coalition in favor of balanced, national energy legislation, strongly supported enactment this year of most of the national energy efficiency provisions adopted in the House and Senate in the last Congress. The supported legislation combines voluntary and incentive programs that will improve the overall energy efficiency of products offered to American consumers.

The HTEWG was represented by Joseph McGuire, president of the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer. Other ANSI members participating on the coalition include the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC).

McGuire discussed important improvements to the legislation that will protect the technology and manufacturing sectors of the economy, while simultaneously enhancing overall efficiency. In addition to addressing issues about energy standards restricting standby power use, the EnergyStar and energy guide labels, and federal matching funds for state appliance rebate programs, the HTWEG expressed its support for the new federal standards for products developed by the Department of Energy (DOE).

“It is economically disruptive for manufacturers to meet diverse state standards,” stated McGuire. “In order to avoid severe ruptures of interstate commerce, innovation and consumer value, it is necessary for the federal government to preempt the field.”

Additions to the list of new product standards include a recommendation that commercial clotheswashers, such as those used in laundromats and laundry rooms, be required by legislation to meet DOE standards that will apply to residential products in 2004 and 2007, ultimately resulting in significant energy and water savings. Additional items include recommendations that torchieres meet a legislated federal standard to consume not more than 190 watts of power; and that all exit signs and traffic signals comply with standards already set by the Energy Star program.

Similarly, a wide variety of commercial refrigeration products and air-conditioning equipment would meet legislated standards. In the case of packaged air conditioning units equal to or exceeding twenty tons of cooling capacity, products are recommended to meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) consensus standard, 90.1-2001, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Building.

Mr. McGuire concluded his remarks by stressing the fact that the members of the HTEWG are not anti-regulatory, but seek to maintain an appropriate balance so that consumer energy economics are enhanced and climate change mitigated.

View the complete copy of the HTEWG’s full testimony.

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