The Biden administration is advancing a fresh approach toward household appliances, primarily focusing on water heaters. The proposed regulatory changes, if approved, would come into force in 2029 as part of a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy.
On Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that the administration was scrutinizing home appliances.
Water heaters are now in the spotlight. A proposal by the Department of Energy (DOE) unveiled late on Friday detailed how the new regulations would “accelerate deployment” of electric heat pump water heaters. They claim this approach could lead to substantial savings for Americans while reducing carbon emissions. Jean-Pierre clarified, “Remember, the enforcement of this proposal, if passed, would only start in 2029. Once implemented, consumers could save about $11 billion a year.”
If this proposal becomes law, less energy-efficient but more affordable water heaters would be phased out from the market.
According to the proposed rule, the federal government would mandate increased efficiency in heat pump-equipped heaters or, for gas-fired water heaters, demand efficiency improvements via condensing technology.
Non-condensing gas-fired water heaters, which are more affordable, compact, and thus more accessible to Americans across income strata, will be directly affected.
The DOE has recently proposed new standards for household appliances like gas stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners, dish washers, clothes washers, and water heaters.
Further, the Biden administration plans to introduce new regulations impacting a more comprehensive range of appliances, including ceiling fans, consumer furnaces, battery chargers, pool pumps, and dehumidifiers.
The administration took pride in executing 110 actions on energy efficiency rules in 2022 alone as a part of its ambitious climate agenda.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) has introduced an amendment to block the Department of Energy (DOE) from using funds to finalize, implement, or enforce any energy standard targeted explicitly at gas stoves. A voice vote successfully passed the amendment.
Gas-powered appliances are crucial in American households, serving as the energy source for water heaters, stoves, fireplaces, and furnaces. Approximately 187 million Americans rely on natural gas for its affordability, reliability, and safety.
The focus should shift away from excessive government regulations impacting our daily lives. Instead, the federal government should prioritize developing solutions that genuinely benefit the American people and secure our energy future.