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Before the  Committee on Telecom, Utilities, and Energy

As a statewide, member supported, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization, our agenda is to promote public health, consumer protection, and citizens’ voices in a process often dominated by powerful special interests. This bill, which would expand energy efficiency standards in the Commonwealth, is exactly the kind of solution we need to our energy problems. Three reasons we support this bill:

#1- While much of the current debate about our energy future in our state and our country is dominated by the potential, and need, for more renewable sources, (which MASSPIRG wholeheartedly supports as well) the conversation about simply not using as much energy doesn’t have quite the same traction. And yet, as a matter of policy, it is equally if not more important to the sustainability of our country’s economy and lifestyle. Reducing our use of energy, whatever the source of it, should be job one. As the electronics market has exploded over the past couple of decades, this efficiency mandate could not be more timely. We simply cannot sustain a path of increasing consumption at the galloping speed we’re used to.

#2- The policy ideas in this bill are not new and not untested – they would simply enact a set of standards that we already know can be achieved to a set of products sorely in need of such standards. The fact that we already know how to achieve such an important policy goal, through existing efficiency standards, only gives more immediacy to enacting this bill.

#3- Left to their own devices, the huge manufacturers of flat-screen TVs and DVDs and the like (we are not talking mom and pop small business here) will, by and large, not commit themselves to these critical standards. The old saying “there ought to be a law” pops to mind, as we realize the only way to make progress in energy efficiency is to pass laws such as these and mandate it.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

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