Residential faucets considered here include bathroom faucets and replacement aerators. A faucet controls and directs the flow of water.
In the 1980s and early 90s, multiple states adopted standards setting maximum water use levels for showerheads, faucets, toilets, and urinals. Based on these standards, Congress adopted national standards on these products in the Energy Policy Act of 1992. Under the law, if the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) revises these standards, DOE is obligated to review ASME's action and consider revising the federal standards. If ASME does not revise the standards within five years, states are free to set more stringent standards themselves. To date, ASME has not revised any of these standards.
In December 2010, DOE officially waived federal preemption of the 2.2 gallon-per-minute (gpm) national faucet standard enacted by Congress in 1992. This waiver of federal preemption allows states to set standards provided that they are more stringent than the national standard.
The 2012 ASAP/ACEEE report, The Efficiency Boom, analyzed the WaterSense efficiency level for residential faucets, which is 1.5 gpm (about 30% savings), and which is also the standard level adopted by Georgia. Annual water savings in 2035 are estimated at 48 billion gallons. The potential energy savings include reduced water heater energy use for the portion of faucet use that is hot water. The savings from the report assume current water heater efficiencies. If the water heater standards analyzed in the report are adopted, this would reduce the energy savings from new faucet standard. The water savings, however, would not change. Lower utility bills would cover the typical incremental cost for more efficient faucets (about $4) within ten months.
Faucets are included on the California Energy Commission Phase 1 rulemaking docket with a final rule expected in 2014.
About 17 million faucets are shipped annually.
|2012||GA Standard Effective|
|2010||GA 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.