Earthjustice and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) intervened to defend a Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standard for commercial water heaters. The standard was finalized by DOE last month and the American Gas Association, the American Public Gas Association, and the National Propane Gas Association subsequently challenged the rule in an attempt to weaken the standard. Earthjustice was joined by NRDC and Sierra Club in filing the motion to intervene last night.
“Setting strong efficiency standards for commercial appliances like water heaters is a smart and cost-effective way to reduce energy use,” said Timothy Ballo, senior attorney at Earthjustice. “DOE’s efficiency standard meaningfully reduces smog-forming emissions from gas-fired water heaters and helps restaurants and other small businesses save money on their energy bills. We’ll continue to affirm DOE’s responsibility to adopt the strongest efficiency standards that are economically justified.”
“This is a senseless attack on a rule that is good for business and good for the climate,” said Joe Vukovich, staff attorney at NRDC. “The commercial water heater standard promises savings of $149 million per year in operating costs for businesses and will prevent 38 million metric tons of climate-warming carbon emissions over 30 years. We can’t afford to delay this overdue update for water heaters any longer.”
“The Department’s new standards will mean less harmful air pollution, lower operating costs, and increased grid reliability,” said Amneh Minkara, deputy director of Sierra Club’s Building Electrification campaign. “Unfortunately, those are not priorities for the fossil fuel industry and the American Gas Association, who instead want to protect their bottom line by making sure that as much polluting gas as possible is burned in space and water heating equipment for years to come.”