Maryland Establishes Appliance Efficiency Standards

March 01, 2004

The Maryland legislature passed ambitious energy efficiency standards for appliances on January 20. The standards deal with torchiere lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, low-voltage dry-type transformers, commercial refrigerators and freezers, traffic signal modules, illuminated exit signs, large packed air-conditioning equipment, unit heaters, and commercial clothes washers.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), an energy advocacy organization in Washington, estimates that Maryland will save 400 MW of power plant capacity and $600 million by 2020 from these standards. ACEEE says similar standards have been introduced in other states.

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) acted quickly to put the new standards into place. In late January MEA began writing draft regulations and collecting data on other states' energy efficiency standards for appliances. For details, see MEA's January 22 press release (PDF 37 KB).

Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich and MEA launched a public campaign on January 12 to educate consumers and contractors in the building trades about energy efficiency and the value of ENERGY STAR® labeled appliances. The campaign promotes energy-efficient appliances, lighting and lighting fixtures, heating and cooling equipment, and new homes. For details about the publicity campaign and a link to a sample radio spot by Governor Ehrlich, see MEA's ENERGY STAR Appliances and Lighting.