Energy Department’s Dishwasher Rule Finds Nothing to Fix

(ACEEE blog, 23 Oct 2020) Washington, DC — A dishwasher regulation announced by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today—heralded repeatedly by President Trump over the past year—will do nothing to improve today’s machines, which perform far more effectively than older models even while using less energy and water.

The new DOE final rule creates a separate “product class” for dishwashers with a short cycle as the “normal” cycle and sets no limit on their energy or water use. However, the vast majority of today’s dishwashers already offer short cycles, which in some instances consume modestly more energy than the default cycles but are used infrequently according to surveys.

“The president and the Department of Energy have given two completely different reasons for why this rule is needed, and neither makes sense,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). “President Trump says dishwashers don’t work as well as they used to, yet tests find that today’s models clean far better than the old ones. The Department of Energy says consumers need options for quick cycles, but those are already ubiquitous. In the end, this rule will neither make dishwashers perform better nor offer quicker cycles.”

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ACEEE blog, 23 Oct 2020: Energy Department’s Dishwasher Rule Finds Nothing to Fix