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Biden now targeting home water heaters for more gov’t rules as crackdown on home appliances continues

The U.S. Department of Energy is now turning its attention to household water heaters as the Biden administration continues to target everyday home appliances for further regulations.

The administration, led by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, proposed new standards for water heaters last week. The standards on residential water heater efficiency, which are required by Congress, have not been updated in 13 years.

Officials say the new regulations to impose energy efficiency standards would save consumers $11.4 billion on energy and water bills annually. The regulations – which would take effect in 2029 – would require electric water heaters to use heat pumps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Water heaters account of 13 percent of all Americans’ annual residential energy use and utility costs. The new pumps are twice as efficient as the older models.

However, critics point to the move as the latest in Biden’s ‘war’ on appliances that has seen the administration target machines ranging from air conditioners to gas stoves in homes.

There is no word on whether Americans will have to immediately replace their water heaters, but the rules don’t go into effect for five years. The last time the rules were updated, they had the backing of the largest manufacturers.

Storage tank heaters typically cost between $500 to $800 and are often replaced over the life of the home.

The standards are expected to reduce more than 500 million metric tones of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years.

The new regulations might initially make water heaters more expensive, but consumers should recoup costs over time, Johanna Neumann, a senior director at the nonprofit Environment America Research and Policy Center, told the Washington Post.

‘Appliance standards are an unsung hero in our work to address climate change and transition to wiser energy use,’ Neumann said, ‘and this rule is the king of them all.’

Officials estimated the new rules would save Americans on average $1,868 over the life of their water heater.