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Appliances sold in Maine will soon need to meet stricter efficiency standards

Natasha Feldman
Damian Dovarganes
/
AP
In this photo taken Friday, Apr. 26, 2013, Miele Account Manager Natasha Feldman showcases Miele washer and dryer energy efficient appliances at the Pacific Sales at the Best Buy store in Glendale, Calif.

Maine's Board of Environmental Protection adopted rules on Thursday that are designed to save energy by increasing the efficiency of a variety of household products.

The rules are required by legislation passed last year, and will improve the efficiency of products such as computers, plumbing fixtures, and even electric hot tubs that are sold in the state.

Jack Shapiro of the Natural Resources Council of Maine says the new standards will not only save energy and fight climate change, they will also save money for Maine consumers.

"One analysis said that these could be $9 million in annual savings per year by 2025, and $36 million annually by 2035," says Shapiro. "So these are relatively simple changes, but they could mean real money."

Maine's rules will align with regulations already in effect in California. The standards will only apply to new products, and there is no requirement to replace older, less efficient appliances that are in use.

Murray Carpenter is Maine Public’s climate reporter, covering climate change and other environmental news.