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Biden Administration Finalizes Water Heater Rule

The Biden administration on Tuesday finalized energy-efficiency standards for residential water heaters (Bloomberg Law, subscription).

What’s going on: The update—the first to be made to the standards since 2010—“would result in over 50% of the newly manufactured electric storage water heaters to utilize heat pump technology, compared to 3% today.”

  • The Department of Energy estimates that the new rule, which is set to go into effect in 2029, will save consumers $124 billion over 30 years of shipments.
  • It applies to gas- and oil-fired heaters, as well as larger electric storage water heaters. It does not apply to tankless water heaters.

The bigger picture: The water heater rule is the latest in a flurry of appliance efficiency standards to come from the Biden administration in recent months.

  • In January, the DOE finalized a gas stoves efficiency threshold, and in February, it finalized requirements for residential clothes washers and dryers.
  • Last December, it announced a final rule on residential refrigerators and freezers.  
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