New Biden Rule Would Target Water Heaters

Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Department of Energy.

The Biden administration introduced a new proposal for water heater efficiency standards on Friday, making water heaters the latest household appliance to be targeted by the Energy Department.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is now claiming that the new water heater standards are designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions and save Americans billions in the long-term, according to the press release on Friday. The proposed rule would allow the Biden administration to regulate household appliances in pursuit of a greener climate agenda.

The Biden administration anticipates the regulatory plan, set to go into effect by 2029, will save Americans $198 billion and slash CO2 emissions by 501 million metric tons over the next 30 years. Water heating comprises 23% of consumer utility costs and annual residential energy use, according to the department.

“Today’s actions—together with our industry partners and stakeholders—improve outdated efficiency standards for common household appliances, which is essential to slashing utility bills for American families and cutting harmful carbon emissions,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “This proposal reinforces the trajectory of consumer savings that forms the key pillar of Bidenomics and builds on the unprecedented actions already taken by this Administration to lower energy costs for working families across the nation.” 

The release claims that ” Replacing common-sized traditional electric resistance storage water heaters with electric heat pump water heaters meeting the proposed levels would save consumers $1,868 on average over the life of the appliance, with savings even higher for renters and low-income households who spend a higher percentage of their income on utility bills.”

“With this proposal, DOE has now issued proposed or final efficiency standards for 18 product categories so far this year—actions critical to carrying out Congressional direction for energy savings while improving reliability and performance across household appliances and commercial and industrial equipment”, the report reads.

Many aren’t happy about the proposed standards.

“It’s just spreading to more and more appliances. It seems that almost everything that plugs in or fires up around the house is either subject to a pending regulation or soon will be,” Ben Lieberman, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said of the administration’s efficiency regulations push, according to FOX News.

“Consumers aren’t going to like any of it,” Lieberman continued.“These rules are almost always bad for consumers for the simple reason that they restrict consumer choice.”

Congressman Thomas Massie tweeted “These products already exist in the free market. Consumers should decide whether the upfront cost of a heat-pump water heater is worth the possible long term savings. In many cases, the monthly savings never make up for the upfront cost of the equipment.”

“First they came for your gas stoves. Then they came for your dishwashers. Next they came for your water heaters and air conditioners. Now the Biden apparatchiks are coming for your portable gas generators,” Forbes contributor David Blackmon tweeted.

This isn’t the first household appliance to be targeted by the administration this year.

Earlier this year we were told “No, President Joe Biden isn’t coming for your gas stove”, by Politico and others. Weeks later, that narrative was walked back when the Energy Department proposed stricter standards on gas stoves, which would ban 96% of gas stoves the Department of Energy later acknowledged in a letter to Senator Daines Fox News has reported.

“The Department clearly states in the Proposed Rule … that only 4% of the current market share meet the extremely high new proposed standard,” Daines wrote to Granholm. “This means that, according to the Department’s own analysis published in the Proposed Rule, that 96% of existing gas cooking tops would be banned from future manufacturing and sales.” 

The efficiency regulations for the new water heaters would take effect in 2029 if they are finalized, according to the press release. Other appliances that the Biden administration is planning to issue updated energy standards for include dishwashers, residential laundry machines, refrigerators and boilers, according to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.


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