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September 21, 2022

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO SECURE NEW FEDERAL ENERGY STANDARDS FOR ILLINOIS FAMILIES

New Energy Efficiency Standards Will Save Millions of Dollars for Families Nationwide

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a coalition of attorneys general in announcing an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) committing the DOE to a new timetable for updating energy efficiency standards. This update applies to 20 categories of common consumer products and commercial equipment such as residential furnaces, laundry machines and electric motors.

According to experts’ estimates, these updated standards could provide more than $600 billion in total utility bill savings to American families by 2050. The updated standards could also avoid more than 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually by 2040.

“I am pleased our coalition’s action has resulted in reductions in Illinois families’ utility costs and benefits for our environment,” said Raoul. “Now more than ever we need to do our part to conserve energy and reduce emissions that contribute to climate change and harm public health.”

The agreement resolves a lawsuit Raoul and the coalition filed against the DOE in 2020, which alleged the department failed to comply with deadlines for updating energy efficiency standards for a range of product categories set by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA). In the filing, the coalition alleged that in failing to meet deadlines, the DOE deprived American families of the benefits of lower energy bills, a more reliable electricity grid, and reduced emissions of dangerous air pollutants.

The EPCA requires the DOE to periodically review and revise these efficiency standards to ensure they are set at the maximum, technically feasible and cost-effective efficiency level in order to save energy and reduce utility costs.

The DOE’s energy efficiency standards currently cover more than 60 product categories. Nationwide, these products together use about 90% of the total amount of energy used in homes, 60% in commercial buildings and 30% used in industrial facilities.

Joining Attorney General Raoul in today’s agreement are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington, as well as the City of New York.

“The strongest possible energy efficiency standards will also ensure Americans keep their lights on and their heat or air conditioning on when the weather turns extreme by not overtaxing our electrical system,” said Jessica Tritsch, building electrification campaign director at the Sierra Club. “After all, heat waves and strong storms are only getting more common in the face of climate change - a crisis we must do everything we can to address with all the tools we have at our disposal,”

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