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The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) applauded the recent decision by the Department of Energy (DOE) to deny a petition by the California Energy Commission (CEC) seeking separate water-usage regulations for residential clothes washers sold in the state.
According to the majap industry trade group, the decision "recognizes the wisdom" of Congress in passing the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) which established national energy-efficiency standards for appliances.
Had the CEC's "Petition for Exemption from Federal Preemption of California's Water Conservation Standards for Residential Clothes Washers" been granted, California would have been permitted to deviate from DOE's national energy-efficiency program for these products, and establish separate efficiency standards for residential clothes washers sold in the state, AHAM argued.
AHAM said the national program has already proved successful, as reflected in the fact that since 1990 energy efficiency has improved nearly 85 percent for both refrigerators and clothes washers and 62 percent for dishwashers. In clothes washers and dishwashers, the minimum energy-efficiency standards have resulted in the reduction of water usage, directly addressing the water savings needs cited by the CEC in its request for a waiver.
In praising the DOE's action, AHAM president Joseph M. McGuire said, "DOE's denial of this petition recognizes the importance of having energy-efficiency standards that are national in scope. Separate state efficiency standards are not effective in producing meaningful energy savings. They add cost, limit consumer choice and disadvantage consumers and manufacturers alike. Everyone benefits when manufacturers design and produce energy-efficient products for a national market."
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