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DOE Backs Down From Tighter Dishwasher Regulations

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has decided not to impose more stringent energy and water requirements for dishwashers following a year-long lobbying effort by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).

The proposed new standard would have limited residential dishwashers’ water consumption to 3.1 gallons per cycle and reduced their power consumption to 234 kilowatt-hours per year starting in 2019.

But AHAM successfully argued that the new rules would have raised dishwasher prices, harmed the appliance industry, and led to increased water usage as consumers pre-rinsed dishes, used more intensive cycles or ran them through the dishwasher more than once due to the reduced cleaning ability of the water-miserly majaps.

Apparently the DOE agreed. In its final determination issued last month, the agency concured that “The benefits of energy savings, positive net present value of consumer benefits, and emission reductions of more stringent standards are outweighed by the economic burden on over half of dishwasher consumers.”

Moreover, “The impacts on manufacturers, including the conversion costs and profit margin impacts, could result in a large reduction in industry net present value,” it concluded.

While AHAM lauded the decision, it said it would continue to work with DOE and Congress on reforms that would ensure the feds confer with industry and outside experts when considering future majap regulations.