On January 20, 2004, the State of Maryland passed a law requiring stricter energy efficiency standards for nine residential and commercial appliances. The law covers ceiling fans, torchiere lighting fixtures, commercial washers, refrigerators, heaters and air conditioners, traffic signals, illuminated exit signs, and building transformers. Similar bills have been introduced in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Illinois and Florida. California is already developing tougher standards for 15 appliances under a directive from its state legislature. The Maryland law is based on model standards proposed by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. Appliances meeting the new standards are already widely available. Maryland residents and businesses are expected to save over $620 million in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 192,000 metric tons by the year 2020, according to Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Inc.