Biden’s Energy Department Proposes Sweeping Changes to Water Heater Standards

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has put forward a proposal that could potentially alter the landscape of home appliances.

The proposal primarily targets household water heaters, with the aim of increasing their efficiency. The DOE’s plan involves the implementation of heat pump technology for electric water heaters and condensing technology for gas-fired instantaneous water heaters.

The DOE suggests that these changes could result in significant savings for consumers, estimating an annual saving of $11 billion on utility bills. Over a 30-year period, these savings could amount to $198 billion. The department also claims that the proposed standards would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 500 million tons over the same period.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has expressed her support for the proposal, stating that it aligns with the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce energy costs for American families. However, critics argue that the proposed standards could force cheaper gas heaters out of the market, as they would not meet the new requirements.

The DOE has stated that if the proposal is adopted within the suggested timeline, the new rule would come into effect in 2029. The proposal is currently open for public comments and a public hearing will be held to discuss the proposed standards.

The Biden administration has already proposed or finalized 18 different efficiency standards for various products, including gas stoves, air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators.