Getting the Most Out of State Standards

Claire Miziolek and Kate DoVale, Energy Solutions


To meet decarbonization goals, states are pursuing new tools and programs to reach the largest, most cost-effective savings for their residents. Appliance efficiency standards are an effective tool to help states drastically reduce energy and water consumption. Since 2018, 12 states and Washington D.C. have adopted a variety of appliance standards, with other states actively pursuing state standard adoption. These standards help consumers save energy, water, and money on their utility bills, while also helping reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase grid resilience and energy independence.

But passing appliance standard legislation is only the first critical step to achieving these beneficial impacts. States must also ensure that market actors comply with the standards to effectively transform the market. Without widespread compliance, the GHG and monetary savings promised may not materialize. Lack of coordination between new standards and existing energy efficiency programs can further reduce the benefits of these adopted standards.

This paper reviews an array of tools and programs available to both states and utilities to help promote new standards and improve compliance. It also explores best practices and state program examples, including how to effectively engage with market actors to minimize market disruption while maximizing consumer benefit. It provides guidance on how states of all sizes and budgets can deploy this highly impactful GHG mitigation strategy.

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