On Friday, the U.S. DOE issued a lengthy proposal to revise the efficiency standards for residential water heaters. It aims to “accelerate deployment” of electric heat pump water heaters and require higher efficiency ratings for all other water heater models. If the rule is finalized and survives court challenges, the changes would take effect in 2029.
In their press release, the DOE outlined their plan to replace common-sized traditional electric resistance water heaters with electric heat pump water heaters. Water heaters are responsible for about 13% of annual residential energy use and consumer utility costs. The DOE states that the new energy efficiency standards would save consumers $11.4 billion on their energy and water bills annually.
This new proposal from the DOE continues the Biden-Harris administration’s trend to establish regulations on home energy appliances, including refrigerators, gas stoves, air conditioners, and clothes washers. Experts and various consumer groups have already voiced their criticism of the administration’s aggressive energy efficiency campaign and the restrictions it will put on consumer choice in the marketplace.
All in all, the DOE claims that their new appliance regulations will save Americans $570 billion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons over the next 30 years.
You can click here to read the DOE’s full 425 page proposal on water heater regulations.