The Department of Energy released a draft proposal late last week that would impose stricter efficiency standards on water heaters—and increase costs for manufacturers, E&E News’ ENERGYWIRE (subscription) and The Washington Examiner report.
What’s going on: On Friday night, the DOE released a 425-page plan “to mandate energy efficiency levels for new consumer water heaters, which the department defines as appliances in homes and small businesses that use ‘oil, gas or electricity to heat potable water for use outside the heater upon demand,’” according to ENERGYWIRE.
- The Biden administration says the move—which would go into effect in 2029 if approved in its current iteration—would cut carbon dioxide emissions and reduce energy use by residential water heaters, saving consumers money.
- The draft rule arrives just months after the DOE released a proposal to phase out approximately half of the gas-powered stoves on the market. The House recently approved two measures to stop “gas stove rulemaking from DOE and the Consumer Product Safety Commission,” according to ENERGYWIRE.
What it would mean: The water heater rule would force manufacturers to use heat pump technology to produce electric water heaters and condensing technology to make gas-fired water heaters—and it would spike production costs in the process, according to the Examiner.
- “The [DOE] draft outlines the potential effect on manufacturers, estimating the implementation of the updated standards could result in ‘a loss of $207.3 million to a gain of $165.5 million’ through the year 2056. The DOE estimates conversion costs would be $228.1 million,” the Examiner reports.
The NAM says: “These proposed regulations add costs to manufacturers and consumers and remove market options,” said NAM Vice President of Domestic Economic Policy Brandon Farris.
- “Manufacturers believe that regulations should allow manufacturers in America to compete in a global market—while protecting consumers. The targets proposed by the DOE fail to accomplish that goal.”