Bipartisan Effort Launches Resource Efficient Appliance Incentives Act
Mar 20, 2003
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Representative Jim Nussle (R-IA) on Tuesday led the introduction of H.R. 1332, the "Resource Efficient Appliance Incentives Act" in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill will hasten market introduction of super-efficient clothes washers and refrigerator/freezers by offering appliance producers tax credits for the production of these appliances which significantly exceed federal minimum efficiency requirements and offer major new water savings as well.

The legislation will save more than 200 trillion BTUs of energy or the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road or halting operation of six coal-fired power plants for a year. The bill, by encouraging the manufacture of super-efficient washing machines, will reduce the amount of water necessary to wash clothes by 870 billion gallons or approximately the amount of water necessary to meet the needs of every household in a city the size of Phoenix, Arizona for two years.

The original cosponsors of the bill include a bipartisan list of House members. In addition to Representative Jim Nussle (R-IA), the list includes Rep. John Tanner (D-TN), Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH), Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Rep. Jim Leach (R-IA), Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), Rep. Michael Oxley (R-OH), Rep. Michael Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI). Essentially, the House and Senate adopted the same provision in an energy bill in the last Congress that is being renewed this year.

The legislation is supported by major environmental organizations including the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, the Alliance to Save Energy, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. It is also endorsed by The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers. It complements an historic agreement reached in 2001 by appliance manufacturers and environmental groups on the next round of national minimum efficiency standards for clothes washers. These standards, promulgated by the U.S. Department of Energy, will set the floor for clothes washer efficiency for the next 12 years. The tax credit is designed to encourage manufacturers to produce clothes washers and refrigerator/freezers that greatly exceed the federal minimum efficiency requirements, thereby accelerating and increasing the efficiency savings. "This legislation is an innovative approach to delivering substantial energy and water savings to the consumer," remarked Joseph M. McGuire, AHAM president. "AHAM members are very pleased to work with the leading energy and environmental groups for passage of this legislation," Mr. McGuire said.

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