The Product:

Urinals are most commonly found in commercial and institutional restrooms.

The Standard:

Congress established national urinal standards as part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and they took effect in 1994. Congress instructed DOE to update the standards when the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) amended their standards. In December 2010, with no ASME revisions on the books, DOE officially waived federal preemption of the national 1.0 gallons per flush (gpf) urinal standard. This waiver of federal preemption allows states to set standards provided they are more stringent than the national standard.

The voluntary WaterSense program (similar to ENERGY STAR but focused on helping consumers identify water-efficient products) has set criteria for flushing urinals at no more than 0.5 gpf. Texas adopted state standards at 0.5 gpf. In April, 2015, California set the following standards for urinals: 0.125 gpf for wall-mounted urinals; a formula for trough-type urinals (trough length in inches/16); and 0.5 gpf for all other urinals. There is no known incremental cost associated with efficient urinals.

Key Facts:

The EPA WaterSense website notes that replacing just one older, inefficient urinal that uses 1.5 gpf with a WaterSense labeled model could save a facility more than 4,600 gallons of water per year. Nationwide, if all older, inefficient urinals were replaced, we could save nearly 36 billion gallons annually

Projected Savings

Urinal Standards
Savings through what year?:
Energy saved (quads):
CO2 savings (million metric tons):
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate:
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate:


Federal Date States
2016 CO Standard Effective
2016 CA Standard Effective
2015 CA Standard Adopted
2014 CO Standard Adopted
2014 CA Standard Effective
2014 TX Standard Effective
2009 TX Standard Adopted
2007 CA Standard Adopted
1st Federal Standard Effective 1994
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 1992
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 1992

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.