Consumer Protection Committee approves bill to set energy efficiency and water conservation standards for appliances sold in Pa.

Also examines bills to protect consumers from surprise transaction fees, gift card scams

HARRISBURG, May 1 – The House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee yesterday approved H.B. 1615, which would set energy efficiency and water conservation standards for new residential and commercial appliances sold in Pennsylvania, state Rep. Rob Matzie announced.

“This is a good, commonsense bill that will benefit consumers,” Matzie said. “Nobody has to replace anything, nobody has to buy anything, nothing is banned. Appliances meeting these standards are already on the market and competitively priced. Implementing the standards for new appliances sold here in Pennsylvania could save consumers nearly $250 million annually on their utility bills by 2030.”

The bill passed by a vote of 17-8.

The committee also heard testimony on H.B. 1977, which would require businesses to clearly post notice of any surcharges on credit and debit card transactions in a location easily visible to consumers, and H.B. 2186, which would help protect consumers from gift card scams by requiring retailers to post signs warning consumers about these scams and train employees on how to identify and respond to gift card fraud.

“Today’s hearing was an important consumer protection hearing addressing fees when it comes to using your credit or debit card at a point of sale as well as the gift card scams that are happening, not only here in Pennsylvania, but throughout the country,” Matzie said. “We heard testimony from the Attorney General and Pennsylvania retailers and also heard from the bills’ prime sponsors. We believe we have two pieces of legislation that make sense conceptually. We still have some work to do, but we think we can get them both across the finish line.”

ATTENTION EDITORS AND ASSIGNMENT DESKS: Matzie’s comments on the hearing are available here: 043024 Matzie Consumer Protection.mp4