Over the last four years, the Trump administration has continuously rolled back regulations that are intended to save energy and water. Its latest rollback is the showerhead standards that have been in place since the 1990s.
On December 15th, the US Department of Energy finalized the rollback of water efficiency standards. This will have an impact on a wide variety of home appliances, with showerheads and washing machines being the most affected.
In particular, the changes were the two and a half-gallon per minute maximum flow rate set by congress. The changes will now allow each showerhead to reach that limit individually. The purpose of this rule was to help reduce water usage and save customers money. Thus, the rollback is perplexing.
Lower Showerhead Standards Hurt Consumers
This rollback, like most, was quickly met with resistance from environmental and even consumer appliance standards groups.
The innovations and reductions in water usage have helped save consumers money over the last 20+ years. These rollbacks threaten to undo all of this work and put areas affected by drought in a worse situation.
For nearly 20 years, the southwest of the United States has been suffering from a drought. Reducing and restricting water usage is a necessity in these states. Not only does this undermine the situation in these locations, but it also undermines the innovations made by appliance makers.
One of Many Unnecessary Rollbacks
Unfortunately, this is not the first rollback we’ve seen that hasn’t made much sense.
Previously the administration has rolled back lightbulb efficiency standards that helped keep electricity bills low, introduced a new class of dishwashers that use more energy and water, and has rolled back several environmental regulations.
However, this could be one of the last major rollbacks the administration can do. The next administration has the power to undo this change, and it is very likely to occur.