New Hampshire businesses and consumers could realize US$538 million in retail energy savings and dramatically reduce harmful air emissions if the state were to enact minimum energy efficiency standards for 15 available residential and commercial products, according to a new report released this week.Concord, New Hampshire – October 18, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] The report, entitled ‘Energy Efficiency Standards: A Low-Cost, High-Leverage Policy for Northeast States,’ was co-authored by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Inc. (NEEP) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP). Several supporters of the standards project unveiled the report in Concord, New Hampshire, including the New Hampshire Public Interest Research Group (NHPIRG), Environment Northeast and National Grid, the parent company of Granite State Electric Co., which serves 39,000 customers in 21 New Hampshire communities. Among the businesses supporting the enactment of minimum energy efficiency standards is LightPanel Technologies, LLC of West Lebanon, New Hampshire, which manufactures energy efficient emergency exit signs, one of the 15 products identified in the standards report. Compared to a typical emergency exit sign, which uses between 20 W and 40 W of electricity, the LightPanel sign uses only .25 W of electricity, according to Scott Kuhn, vice-president of sales. With a service life of 30 years, and an annual energy cost of 22 cents to operate, the LightPanel exit sign usually pays for itself in the first year of operation, Ungard noted, with considerable savings achieved over the life of the product. “When we talk about minimum energy efficiency standards, we’re not talking about products that are still in development, we’re talking about products that are available today, providing consumers with considerable savings,” explained Isaac Elnecave, manager of the Northeast States Energy Efficiency Standards Project. “By enacting minimum efficiency standards, New Hampshire will help bring those savings to all of its businesses and consumers.” Further, noted Tim Stout, Director of Energy Efficiency Services for National Grid, minimum energy efficiency standards will help ensure the reliability of the state’s energy supply by lowering energy use. “We see energy efficiency standards as an important part of ensuring the delivery of electricity to this region,” Stout said. “Standards will ‘lock in’ the progress that has been made in energy efficiency programs over the last decade, helping to reduce peak demand and to maintain a reliable, dependable energy delivery system.” And, by virtue of the need to generate less energy, fewer harmful chemicals – such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides – will be emitted by coal and oil-fired power plants, helping to slow global warming and improve air quality, explained Sierra Curtis-McLane, environmental associate for NHPIRG. If New Hampshire were to enact minimum energy efficiency standards for the identified residential and commercial use products, the state would by 2020: -Conserve nearly 7.8 trillion BTUs of energy, equal to the energy use of 9 percent of the state’s households in 2000. -Save consumers and businesses some US$538 million, which is equal to nearly one-third of the total state tax collections in 2000. -Reduce the projected growth in peak energy demand by 250 MW, equal to nearly 8.5 percent of New Hampshire’s 1999 in-state generating capacity. -Reduce carbon emissions by 104,000 metric tons. -Reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 112 metric tons and of sulfur dioxide by 353 metric tons. “With recent volatile world events, standards can also help states achieve a measure of independence from foreign energy sources,” Curtis-McLane said. “Energy policy is prominent once again, and enacting minimum energy efficiency standards can help New Hampshire lead the way.” Included among the residential product types identified in the report are: central air conditioners and heat pumps; ceiling fans; consumer electronics; furnace fans; and torchiere lamps. Included among the commercial product types identified in the report are: beverage vending machines; building voltage transformers; coin-operated clothes washers; exit signs; ice makers; packaged air conditioners and heat pumps; refrigerators and freezers; traffic signals; and unit and duct heaters.