By law, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) must review each national appliance standard every six years and publish either a proposed rule to update the standard or a determination that no change is warranted. As of August 2020, DOE has missed legal deadlines for twenty-eight product standards. Based on the current rate of progress, DOE likely will miss several more appliance standards deadlines by January 2021.
New York Times Op-ed
By Terry Sobolewski and Ralph Cavanagh, NRDC
Partisan fights in Washington can leave the impression that we’re hopelessly divided. The truth is there are plenty of bipartisan solutions to the energy and environmental challenges we face, and energy efficiency is near the top of the list.
In a letter to House and Senate subcommittees and to DOE Secretary Perry from "the entire group of Senate-confirmed Republican and Democratic Assistant Secretaries of Energy who led the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) between 1989 and 2017", standards are billed as the "little engine that could."
New York made a big splash recently by updating water-saving standards for four common plumbing products—faucets, showerheads, toilets, and urinals. On December 6, 2019, Governor Cuomo signed a bill that will reduce water and energy waste, decrease CO2 emissions, and save consumers money on utility bills.
Even as DOE continues to miss deadlines for updating efficiency standards, consumers are still seeing energy and dollar savings growing due to standards established prior to the current administration. Two new standards that just took effect will add to those savings by significantly reducing the consumption of two home energy hogs: dehumidifiers and furnace fans.