The Department of Energy is proposing tighter regulations on gas-fired water heaters used in restaurants and hotels in a bid to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
DOE's proposed rule would require manufacturers to build more efficient commercial water heaters and effectively eliminate non-condensing technology in the products, which allow for the venting of excess heat.
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The rule would effectively require the industry to employ condensing technology in new water heater products, providing for the capture and use of that excess heat.
DOE estimates the standards would reduce annual operating costs by $140 million over a 30-year period, while compliance costs are estimated to be $34.6 million.
The department also estimates the regulations would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 38 million metric tons.
Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said the proposal is overdue and lobbied for its speedy approval.
"For restaurants and commercial kitchens, it's going to be a significant money-saver. For the climate, it means a meaningful cut to greenhouse gas emissions," he said.
DOE's rulemaking is a follow-up to multiple proposed and finalized rules published since Biden took office that are designed to reduce energy demand by making appliances more efficient, thereby avoiding emissions stemming from combustion of fossil fuels.
A new efficiency rule proposed in March targets residential air conditioners and pool heaters, while the department finalized regulations in April to phase out the manufacture of incandescent light bulbs.
White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy said the administration is doing "100 rules this year alone on appliances" during a recent speech at Tufts University.
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Biden climate advisor Gina McCarthy: "We're actually going to do 100 rules this year alone on appliances."— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 4, 2022
The airlines are "gonna be out of here" if they don’t follow Biden’s Green New Deal-style rules. pic.twitter.com/AKI7InJDBw
A Twitter account run by the Republican National Committee drew attention to McCarthy's Tufts remarks on appliance rules, which included comments about requiring airlines to introduce more green technologies, and framed them as "Biden’s Green New Deal-style rules."