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U.S. House OKs bills trimming efficiency standards for refrigerators, dishwashers

Every year, 15 million refrigerators are sold in the U.S and now those essential home appliances are the center of debate on Capitol Hill.

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“The fact is the American people cannot afford President Biden’s energy policy,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-South Carolina.

“That’s right, the Republicans are fighting to give refrigerators freedom,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey.

This all stems from new federal energy efficiency standards for refrigerators and dishwashers to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and even lower your energy bill.

The average household spends about $240 a year to run a refrigerator. Under these new standards, families are expected to save at least $100 a year on their energy bills.

But Republicans aren’t buying those savings. The House just approved two GOP-backed bills that would rollback those standards despite support from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

The Republican-led proposals would also ban the Department of Energy from enforcing standards that aren’t “cost-effective or technologically feasible or that fail to save a significant amount of energy.”

“The reality is they’re not doing it their practices are egregious and overreaching and they want to force themselves into every aspect of our lives and dictate,” said Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa.

But Andrew deLaski, executive director for Appliance Standards Awareness Project, believes these bills would be a major setback for consumers.

“And if you undo them back does lead less efficient products on the market products are going to waste energy and drive up people’s energy bills. That’s a proven policy that saves people money,” deLaski said.

Both bills are headed to the Democratic-controlled Senate where they are unlikely to advance.

The White House is also against these bills. The administration believes they would create unnecessary hurdles for the energy department in the future.

These energy standards are set to take effect in 2027 for dishwashers, 2029 for refrigerators.

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