Energy department targets Trump rollbacks on appliance efficiency
The Biden administration is proposing to revoke Trump-era rollbacks to washer, dryer and dishwasher efficiency.
The Energy Department in a notice issued Tuesday put forward a new rule that would reverse the Trump-era changes, which exempted some of these appliances from energy and water conservation standards by creating a separate class of products for short-cycle clothing washers and dryers as well as dishwashers.
By adding them to separate classes, prior standards were no longer applicable.
In its proposal to revoke the rules, the Biden administration said that it did not identify any residential dishwashers that offer such short cycles — less than 60 minutes from washing through drying.
It also said that it didn’t find any small businesses that make residential clothing washers or dryers, so its action wouldn’t harm small companies.
The proposal argued that the Trump administration didn’t follow a law requiring an analysis of whether the changes were designed to achieve the best efficiency improvement that’s technologically feasible and its prohibition against standards that decrease efficiency.
When it promulgated the rules in question, the Trump administration argued that its actions increased consumer choice.
The news follows the Biden administration’s decision to review several of its predecessor’s energy efficiency rules. It has also recently took a step toward reversing the Trump administration’s weakening of showerhead regulations.
Then-President Trump frequently complained about efficiency standards and touted his moves to target them.
“We freed it up. Now you can buy a dishwasher, and it comes out. It’s beautiful, go buy a dishwasher,” he said during a campaign stop last year.