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DOE Finalizes Reversal of Trump-era Showerhead Rule

Dec. 15, 2021
Natural Resources Defense Council, Plumbing Manufacturers International issue statement.

WASHINGTON DC – The Department of Energy (DOE) announced a finalized rule yesterday that will ensure showerheads do not unnecessarily waste water and energy. The rule effectively eliminates an illegal Trump-era change that allowed for the sale of new multi-showerhead arrays for which the efficiency standard in place since 1994 would apply only to each individual head, rather than the array as a whole. 

The following is a statement from Ed Osann, director for NRDC’s (Natural Resources Defense Council’s) water efficiency project:

This reversal of the senseless change to the showerhead definition will keep wasteful products out of the market and will help lower utility bills for consumers and reduce dangerous climate-warming pollution.

The multi-head products allowed under the Trump rule could flow two to four times the maximum flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute, sending decades of progress on water and energy efficiency down the drain. With around 200 million showers taken every day in the U.S., the savings will add up, especially for low-income Americans and communities of color that already experience significantly higher burdens when it comes to water and energy bills.

Plumbing Manufacturers International also issued a statement agreeing with the changes. From PMI CEO/Executive Director Kerry Stackpole:

As we’ve stated before, PMI members have invested heavily in producing water-efficient showerheads... We support the DOE’s decision, as the Dec. 2020 rule interpretation created the potential for water-wasting, multiple-nozzle showerheads not compliant with industry standards to enter the marketplace. With little consumer demand for these products, they were a solution in search of a problem.

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