Switch Green: Energy Star Appliance Feebate cover

Download PDF

This 38-page report explains how the government could reduce energy consumption by offering consumer rebates on Energy Star appliances and levying fees on inefficient devices. This revenue-neutral policy would reduce annual household energy consumption by 1,440 gigawatt-hours — the equivalent of taking 120,000 homes off the electricity grid — and greenhouse gas emissions by 275 thousand tonnes each year.

Some appliances use 50% more energy than others to do the same job — there's no difference in how well they clean clothes or wash dishes. Efficiency allows us to get the same quality of lifestyle and the same utility from a smaller amount of energy. It's a no brainer!

Making it easier to buy energy efficient appliances has many benefits: reductions in greenhouse gases, savings on utility bills, reduced demand for coal fired electrical plants, and less impact on the environment — all in one fell swoop.

Switch Green: Energy Star Appliance Feebate, calls for a simple policy shift to make the most efficient machines more affordable. Following its recommendations would cost government nothing, yet would have dramatic positive implications for the environment, including:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 275 thousand tonnes per year
  • Reducing the pollutants that cause smog
  • Reducing household energy costs by $80 million annually
  • Reducing water consumption
  • Maintaining a revenue neutral outcome for government

Switch Green is one of a series of reports by the David Suzuki Foundation on ecological fiscal reform (EFR). EFR shifts the burden of tax from good environmental practices onto polluting activities.