Urinals are most commonly found in commercial and institutional restrooms.
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 1.0 gallon-per-flush (gpf) national 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 voluntary WaterSense program (similar to ENERGY STAR but focused on helping consumers identify water-efficient products) has set criteria for flushing urinals at no more than 0.5 gallons per flush (gpf). California, Texas, and Georgia have adopted state standards at 0.5 gpf. The 2012 ASAP/ACEEE report, The Efficiency Boom, analyzed urinal standards based on this 0.5 gpf level and estimated annual savings in 2035 of 13.6 billion gallons of water. There is no known incremental cost associated with efficient urinals.
Urinals are included on the California Energy Commission Phase 1 rulemaking docket with a final rule expected in 2014.
Though the national standard of 1.0 gallons per flush became effective in 1994, the EPA WaterSense program estimates that 65% of urinals in use today exceed the maximum allowable flush volume.
|2014||CA Standard Effective|
|2014||TX Standard Effective|
|2012||GA Standard Effective|
|2010||GA Standard Adopted|
|2009||TX Standard Adopted|
|2007||CA 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.