A Vermont, U.S. state Senate bill that was preliminarily approved this week would mandate the purchase of higher-efficiency appliances within the state. A Vermont Press Bureau report says the Senate bill does not differ substantially from a state House bill passed earlier in the year, making passage of the bill into law more likely. The bill would charge the state's Department of Public Service with setting efficiency standards by June of next year, then phase in the new standards over several years.
Proponents have said the bill will be more costly to consumers at the outset, but will save consumers energy costs long-term.
Opponents say consumers will simply go to neighboring New Hampshire to purchase appliances, to the detriment of Vermont retailers.
While Vermont Governor Jim Douglas is said to be a support of energy efficiency initiatives, he has not issued a statement regarding the economic impact the law would have on Vermont businesses.
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