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WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy (DOE) overturned a Trump administration rule Tuesday that had lowered federal efficiency standards for showerheads. The now-reversed rule, finalized in December 2020, effectively created a loophole for manufacturers to bypass energy- and water-saving requirements by redefining the word “showerhead.” The DOE’s decision restores standards that prevent wasteful energy and water use.
When the Trump administration introduced its rule, Environment America, U.S. PIRG and other advocacy groups voiced concern that it would increase energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and consumer utility bills. In October 2020, Environment America submitted more than 10,000 member comments to the Department of Energy, urging its leaders to protect federal efficiency standards. When the agency failed to do that and finalized the rule, Environment America, U.S. PIRG and the Alliance for Water Efficiency challenged that decision in a lawsuit.
The Biden administration’s actions to restore the prior showerhead standards are consistent with its efforts to advance energy efficiency and reduce the emissions that are warming our planet.
In response, experts from Environment America and U.S. PIRG issued the following statements:
“For decades, federal showerhead efficiency standards helped conserve water and energy, saved consumers money on utility bills and prevented unnecessary emissions and air pollution. Replacing those policies with weaker ones made no sense,” said Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns Director. “This week’s decision is a victory for all of us. Some of the top-rated showerheads already use significantly less water than the standard allows – so none of us have to sacrifice a satisfying shower experience. We thank the Department of Energy for reversing this damaging decision and instead prioritizing the health and safety of Americans across the country.”
“There was no good reason for the Trump administration to weaken appliance standards in the first place, so it’s great to see Biden’s Department of Energy strengthen them once again,” said Brynn Furey, clean energy associate with Environment America. “Appliance standards ensure that we use our energy and water more efficiently, which will help reach the Biden administration’s goal of powering America with 100 percent clean energy.”
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