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The Biden administration didn’t waste any time unleashing its climate agenda on the appliance industry in January 2021.
On his first day in office, President Biden signed an executive order that directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to make “major revisions” to appliance regulation standards and standards set by the prior administration.
The DOE got to work and implemented more than a dozen new energy efficiency rules on an extensive number of appliances.
The administration didn’t stop there. Just two years later, it is adding even more rules that dictate the types of stoves, ovens, refrigerators, and washers Americans are allowed to purchase.
The DOE claims that the newest efficiency rules will save American consumers billions of dollars and reduce climate-change-causing pollution significantly.
Energy experts and manufacturers are not buying it. They argue that these changes make household appliances much more costly and far less effective.
“What these mandates, what these standards, do is enforce a level of efficiency that doesn’t make sense,” Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Fox News Digital in an interview. “And they compromise product quality. We’ve already seen this to an extent with cost of clothes washer standards.”
“That’s another problem — this is a regulatory program that’s very long in the tooth and you’re getting to the point where clothes washers — this might be the fifth time they’ve been regulated,” he continued. “So we’re really chasing after diminishing or nonexistent marginal returns.”
Travis Fisher, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate and Environment, points out that Americans should be free to make their own decisions.
He told Fox News Digital, “It should be up to the individual user as far as how much they choose to save. The concept of a mandate really comes from the idea that the government knows better than the end user of what kind of appliances they should be buying. I don’t buy into that premise at all.”
Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said, “These standards are counterproductive from the energy and environmental savings standpoint, but they’re also a real inconvenience for consumers.”
He says that you might have to run your washer or dishwasher more than once to get things clean or the run cycles are longer to achieve the level of cleaning you’d get from a less efficient model.
A former senior DOE official told Fox News Digital, “Their philosophy is energy efficiency at all costs or energy efficiency no matter the cost. That means we are going to see, as a result of their efficiency standards, higher-priced appliances. It’s that simple.”
He said the new regulations do not lead to “saving huge amounts of energy.” That’s the reality.
Just like most things this administration tells us, the opposite is true.
Jill Notini, a spokesperson for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) says that the burden will be on the consumer. Under the new rules, the price of a new washing machine will be $150 more than the current price.
The new efficiency standards will save the homeowner about $7/year. Do the math. That is not a win for the consumer.