On Friday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm rolled out new efficiency regulations for dishwashers, beverage vending machines, and electric motors. The Biden administration asserted that these regulations will decrease power usage, reduce energy expenses for American consumers, and combat the climate crisis.
Granholm said that the administration is “using all of the tools at our disposal to save Americans money while promoting innovations that will reduce carbon pollution and combat the climate crisis.” The Energy Department has now introduced efficiency crackdowns for 16 product categories in 2023, actions which agency officials contend are “preserving reliability and performance across household appliances and commercial and industrial equipment.”
The new dishwasher standards would save households $168 million each year on utility bills, according to an estimate from the Energy Department. The regulations for electric motors, which convert electrical energy into mechanical energy in manufacturing and process equipment, will save businesses $464 million annually, while the vending machine rules will save $20 million annually.
The new dishwashers imported into the United States beginning in 2027 would have to consume 27% less power and use 34% less water. More compact models would need to implement a 22% power reduction and an 11% water use reduction. The Energy Department estimates that consumers would have to spend $15 more for a new dishwasher but would witness three times as much in energy savings over the appliance’s lifetime.
The Biden administration has also stirred controversy after introducing new emissions rules for natural gas stoves, even as increased adoption of the fuel serves as a significant driver of lower emissions in the United States. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alex Hoehn–Saric later posted a statement asserting that neither he nor the agency planned to outlaw gas stoves.
The state of New York has since approved legislation that will effectively ban the installation of gas stoves in new homes and buildings as early as 2026. The Energy Department further unveiled new efficiency standards for air conditioners and the first federal standards for portable air cleaners. Officials similarly introduced a final rule that requires single–section and multi–section mobile homes to meet new climate–dependent energy conservation measures.
The Trump administration had also worked to increase energy efficiency by imposing restrictions on certain appliances. However, the Biden administration is working to go further, pushing for more stringent regulations on energy consumption.
The proposed regulations have sparked debate among lawmakers, with some arguing that they will result in higher costs for consumers and businesses. Others contend that these regulations are necessary in order to confront the climate crisis and reduce the overall costs of energy consumption.
Regardless of one’s opinion on the matter, it is clear that the Biden administration is taking major steps to reduce energy use and combat climate change. As the United States works to transition to a more sustainable energy future, these regulations will play a key role in that process.