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  1. 1/18/2008 WATER EFFICIENCY ADDRESSED IN NEW FEDERAL ENERGY BILL
  2. On December 19, 2007, President Bush signed bill H.R. 6, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 into law. This bill establishes minimum national water efficiency standards for residential clothes washers and dishwashers. The standards contained in H.R. 6 were developed in an agreement between appliance manufacturers, their trade organization, and a nationwide coalition of energy and water efficiency supporters in April 2007.

    As set forth in the bill, standard-sized dishwashers manufactured after January 1, 2010 will be limited to 6.5 gallons per cycle, and compact dishwashers will be limited to 4.5 gallons per cycle. Residential clothes washers manufactured after January 1, 2011 must meet a maximum water factor of 9.5. The new law also directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to undertake new rule-makings to consider even stronger efficiency standards for clothes washers and dishwashers. Prior to the passage of this bill, there was no requirement in law for the DOE to consider any new standards for clothes washers or dishwashers in the future.

    As a result of these new standards the majority of water savings will come from clothes washers. The adoption of the 9.5 water factor beginning in 2011 will have a significant impact on the 70% of today’s sales that are top-loaders, which have an average water factor of about 11.5. Each year’s clothes washer production with the 9.5 factor in place should save over 40 million gallons per day (mgd). After four years, water savings nationwide should be around 175mgd.

    The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is an important milestone on the path toward a more water-efficient nation, and sets the stage for even further efficiency gains in the near future.

    For more information on H.R. 6 please click here and here.