OAN’s Brooke Mallory
11:33 AM – Sunday, July 23, 2023
If a new Department of Energy plan that has been heavily opposed by Republican senators becomes law, water heaters might soon be subject to considerably stricter efficiency criteria.
The Biden administration is currently pushing towards requiring the majority of electric water heaters to adopt heat pump technology and gas-fired water heaters to utilize condensing technology in a draft regulation.
The proposal was released by the Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday.
It comes months after the Biden administration sparked a tempest over feared stovetop rules, with Albany, New York, lawmakers passing a contentious first-in-the-nation gas stove ban.
“Today’s actions, together with our industry partners and stakeholders, improve outdated efficiency standards for common household appliances, which is essential to slashing utility bills for American families and cutting harmful carbon emissions,”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 Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
The Biden administration reportedly claims that the regulation “plan,” which is slated to take effect in 2029, would save Americans $198 billion and reduce CO2 emissions by 501 million metric tons over the following 30 years. However, these proposed numbers and estimates have been disputed by many analysts from GOP think tanks.
Minimum efficiency criteria for oil-fired storage water heaters, gas-fired water heaters, and gas-fired instantaneous water heaters will be heavily raised by the department.
“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,” Granholm continued.
According to the agency, water heating accounts for 23% of consumer utility expenses and yearly residential energy usage.
Congress compels the agency to develop efficiency criteria, and it claims to have last modified its water heater policy in 2010.
Thomas Massie, a Republican U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 4th congressional district since 2012, shared his thoughts on the new water-heating proposal on Twitter.
“Leave us alone. 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,” Massie said.
“From the people who want showers and faucets without enough water pressure, dishwashers that don’t fully clean, washers and dryers that fully wash or dry, etc., they now want water heaters that don’t fully and quickly heat. All in the name of ‘environmentalism’ or ‘climate change,’” said a separate social media user.
These new regulations would apply to new water heaters that enter the market in 2029.
The departments emphasized that President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes “tax credits, rebates, and other incentives” to help people save money on more efficient water heaters.
The new suggestion has already sparked debate among many notable online users.
“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 asserted.
In recent months, the government has also taken steps to tighten requirements for a variety of domestic equipment, including air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and others. A member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission sparked outrage earlier this year when he suggested that a widespread ban on gas stoves may be on the table.
The House voted last month to prevent the federal government from doing so in the future, and the Senate has not yet voted on that bill.
The Biden administration boasted in December of last year that it had taken 110 steps to boost efficiency regulations in 2022 to help its “climate change goals.”
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