Top Consumer Groups Rally Against CA Bill

"Step Backward” For Energy Efficiency & Costly For Consumers

Washington DC (June 19, 2014) - Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and San Francisco- based Consumer Action are announcing their opposition to a bill currently moving through the California legislature that could significantly diminish energy efficiency gains in household appliances and would be a significant step backward for California and consumers nationwide.

In a letter to Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) and members of the California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee, the two groups laid out their concerns with the appliance standards provisions in AB 2581, now pending before the Committee.

“California is a leader in improving energy efficiency, and its impact reverberates across the country,” said Mark Cooper, CFA’s director of research. “If California backtracks on energy efficiency, this could be a setback for energy efficiency for the entire nation.”

The groups say, as written, the bill sets the stage for industries that seek to avoid regulatory oversight to ultimately eliminate the California Energy Commission’s authority in setting consumer-friendly energy efficiency standards.

The letter, co-signed with Joe Ridout, Consumer Action’s California legislative coordinator, points out that “[t]he changes to the appliance standard setting process contained in AB 2581 would impede the ability of the California Energy Commission (CEC) to set standards, making it harder for California to meet its own energy goals and undermining its ability to set the pace for efficiency policy.” The groups say adopting AB 2581 will result in higher energy bills for consumers and allow unnecessary energy consumption to continue in California and potentially nationwide.

The groups are calling on lawmakers to strike the appliance standards sections of AB 2581 because they are not only unnecessary and counterproductive but they also hurt consumers.

The Consumer Federation of America is an association of more than 250 nonprofit consumer groups that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.

Consumer Action, established in 1971, is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that focuses on consumer education that empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper.