When it comes to saving money on your utility bill, the cheapest electricity is the electricity you never use. Yet, you can also save money using air conditioners, refrigerators, lighting systems and televisions that use less energy due to the California Energy Commission's energy efficiency standards. Consider: Cost-effective standards for appliances and homes have contributed to ratepayer savings of $138 billion in electricity and natural gas costs over the last 35 years and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Adopted in 1977, these standards have helped consumers and businesses save money and energy and eliminated the need to build expensive power plants. Last year, the Energy Commission approved the first-in-the-nation energy efficiency standards for battery chargers. Those will save California more than $300 million annually, conserve enough electricity to power nearly 350,000 households - roughly a city the size of Bakersfield - and eliminate 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
"The simple fact is energy efficiency saves California consumers money," said Energy Commissioner Andrew McAllister.
The Energy Commission is considering the next round of appliance energy efficiency measures. Working with manufacturers, consumer groups, utility companies and other industry leaders, the goal is to develop standards that improve energy efficiency in four categories:
- Consumer electronics: computers, game consoles, set-top cable boxes and networking equipment, among others
- Lighting: fluorescent dimming ballasts, light-emitting diodes and multifaceted reflector lamps
- Water appliances: faucets, toilets, water meters, and others
- Other appliances: commercial clothes dryers, residential pool pumps and motors, among others
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