Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Neat Illinois bill on saving us money (so corporate interests are likely to fight it)

Representative Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills) has a bill backed by Illinois PIRG that implements state energy efficiency standards for appliances. The federal standards (remember those yellow cards on home furnaces) haven't been updated in 20 years or so, so if states want to ensure their citizens save money on energy costs, they've got to implement their own standards. If not, we'll be stuck with energy-guzzling appliances.

As I understand it, more efficient appliances cost more up front (either marginally or significantly, hard to tell) and save a ton of money over the life of the product (either 10 times the marginal cost of the product or, with $1.00/therm natural gas prices, maybe 100 times the cost). So to the extent there is a higher cost with state efficiency standards, that cost is one of the best investments a consumer can make based on saved energy costs.

It's in the state's interest to make Illinois residents richer. These appliance standard will do that, by ensuring that Illinois residents send less money to the for-profit energy companies (which means they are ultimately owned by non-Illinois people -- people that the Illinois General Assembly shouldn't really care about).

I'm sure corporate interests will fight HB 4455. You can track its status here. And you can send a letter to your legislators through Illinois PIRG's website here. (If you aren't a member of Illinois PIRG, they are the group that hires all the summer canvassers to knock on your door and ask for $45. They also consistently lobby for great bills in Illinois, and now the Chicago City Council as well, so I'd recommend that you join them, either in person or online. Strength through numbers....).

1 comment:

Kankakee Voice said...

Thanks for the heads up on this. Great bill!