Vermont passes EnergyStar 'backup' bill - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Industrial, Regulation  -  March 31, 2017

Vermont passes energy efficiency 'backup' bill

Lawmakers in Vermont have passed a bill aimed at preserving energy efficiency standards set by federal government, the Vermont Digger reported March 24. 

The bill,  H. 411,  was passed by the Vermont House and looks to adopt the federal appliance and lighting efficiency standards that were in effect Jan. 19, "so that the same standards will be in place in Vermont should the federal standards be repealed or voided." The legislation would also adopt federal standards for general service lighting that have been adopted by the U.S. Department of Energy and are scheduled to come into effect in January 2020, "again so that the same standards will be in place in Vermont."

President Donald Trump's recently released 2018 federal budget proposal calls for a 31% reduction to the EPA's budget including the elimination of the Energy Star program, which sets energy efficiency standards for appliances and administers numerous other initiatives. Additionally, the newspaper cited Rep. Curt McCormack, D-Burlington, as saying the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is expected to be "defunded or otherwise hobbled through Trump's budget." 

Thus, the state Legislature, according to the Digger, is looking to avoid an explicit repeal of the standards. 

"We're trying to get the states to convince Congress and the president not to repeal," or otherwise prevent enforcement of the efficiency standards, the newspaper quoted McCormack as saying. "One way of doing that is to say, 'We're going to do it if you don't.'"

Editor's note: Energy Star is a Smart Energy Decisions content partner, and Smart Energy Decisions has called on the administration to spare its elimination. 

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