Residential faucets include bathroom and kitchen faucets and replacement aerators.
Congress established national faucet 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 2.2 gallon-per-minute (gpm) national faucet standard. This waiver of federal preemption allows states to set standards provided they are more stringent than the national standard.
In 2015, the California Energy Commission adopted new kitchen and lavatory faucet standards, setting the maximum flow rate for kitchen faucets and aerators at 1.8 gallons per minute (gpm) with optional temporary flow of 2.2 gpm at 60 pounds per square inch (psi). California also set the maximum flow rate for private lavatory faucets at 1.2 gpm and the maximum flow rate for public lavatory faucets at 0.5 gpm. The standards went into effect in January 2016.
In 2016, Colorado also adopted lavatory faucet standards at the WaterSense level (1.5 gpm). In 2019, the state adopted California standards for kitchen faucets, and WaterSense standards for public lavatory faucets.
Vermont passed standards similar to California’s in 2018 (with the exception of the standard for lavatory faucets, which must not exceed a flow rate of 1.5 gpm). Hawaii and Washington followed California’s lead in 2019.
In December 2019, New York State set lavatory faucet standards at the 1.5 gpm and 0.5 gpm level for private and public lavatory faucets, respectively.
In addition to saving water, more-efficient faucets save a significant amount of energy by reducing the amount of hot water used. ASAP estimates that 55% of kitchen faucet models meet California standards. Additionally, we estimate that 84% of private lavatory faucet models and 98% of public lavatory faucet models meet WaterSense standards.