As part of its new agenda for January, Congress should repeal every energy-efficiency mandate on the books, ranging from Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for new vehicles to efficiency standards for appliances and light bulbs. These standards are usually touted as saving consumers money. Even though the prices of high-efficiency models are often higher, their advocates claim that they’re less expensive to operate over the long-run. That is a very dubious claim; high-efficiency models often cost more to maintain and repair, and using them often involves major drawbacks as well.
But don’t take our word for it; just let consumers choose. If energy-efficiency mandates really produce better products, then you don’t need laws forcing consumers to buy those products. And if you do need these mandates, that’s a very good sign that they’re not benefitting consumers at all.