DOE Issues Final Rules for High-Performance Clothes Washers, Dryers, and Showerheads

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued two Final Rules focused on quality-of-life improvements for the American people. The first rule ensures that Americans can have access to high-performance, time-saving clothes washers and dryers. The second rule ensures access to showerheads that can provide enough water for quality showers.

The final rule on washers and dryers allows manufacturers to offer new products that meet consumer demand for clothes washers and dryers that have shorter cycle times. The rule establishes separate product classes for residential clothes washers and clothes dryers with cycle times of less than 30 minutes (45 minutes for front-loading clothes washers).

DOE has used this authority in the past to create separate classes for products with specific features and configurations, including cycle time for dishwashers and top-loading clothes washers.

In a separate rulemaking, the DOE issued a final rule that aligns DOE’s definition of a “showerhead” with the consensus standards of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Congress has mandated a 2.5 gallon per minute limit on showerheads. DOE’s definition, now in line with the consensus standards from ASME, states that each showerhead can emit up to the statutory limit. The prior definition stated that a device with multiple showerheads could only release 2.5 gallons per minute for the entire device. The change will allow manufacturers to offer consumers new products that can provide more water and more comfort.

More information on DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its programs can be found here.

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