Want to help small businesses? Update Appliance Efficiency Standards

Dear Editor:

My parents own a restaurant, so I understand the stresses of spending so much on monthly utility bills. I recently learned that restaurants like ours’ spend 3 to 5 percent of their total operating budgets on electricity and other utility bills. This is in part because appliance efficiency standards have not been updated in New Jersey since 2005. This means that many dishwashers and other household and commercial appliances are using more energy and water than they need to function. So, businesses like my parents’ are using more energy and wasting money.

The solution is simple. We need to change the rules about how much water and energy appliances sold in New Jersey can use. States across the country are doing just that. Updating these appliance efficiency standards is one of the most accessible ways to help consumers and businesses save on their monthly energy bills. When the dishwasher in our restaurant kitchen eventually wears out, the only options on store shelves will be energy-efficient ones. This will help reduce our water bill each month going forward.

Right now, New Jersey legislators are considering two bills that would update the state standards. A5160 (DeAngelo) and S3324 (Smith) recently passed out of their respective committees in the state legislature. I encourage our state legislators to vote yes on updating appliance efficiency standards to help family businesses like mine.

Sara Tabakha