President Joe Biden is in hot water after his Department of Energy proposed banning low-cost, popular gas water heaters in U.S. homes.
The latest initiative is aimed at increasing the usage of electric heat pump water heaters in an effort to cut carbon emissions and is expected to save Americans billions of dollars, according to the Department of Energy.
“Today’s actions—together with our industry partners and stakeholders — improve outdated efficiency standards for common household appliances, which is essential to slashing utility bills for American families and cutting harmful carbon emissions,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a statement.
“This proposal reinforces the trajectory of consumer savings that forms the key pillar of Bidenomics and builds on the unprecedented actions already taken by this Administration to lower energy costs for working families across the nation.”
Consumer groups and experts disagree and have criticized the administration over its aggressive energy efficiency campaign. They argue the new regulations reduce consumer choice and increase costs for Americans.
Most Americans would have already switched to heat pump water heaters if it would slash their utility bills but they have not. They cost more and the complicated heat pump heaters are more expensive to install.
The more energy-efficient but expensive electric heat pump water heaters would gradually replace less energy-efficient but cheaper water heaters.
The DOE expects the proposed regulation, set to take effect in 2029, to result in savings of approximately $198 billion and a reduction of emissions by about 501 million metric tons over 30 years, according to its statement.
Energy efficiency rules for various other appliances have already been introduced by President Biden’s administratin, with plans for more in the pipeline.
The Department of Energy claims these rules could lead to an overall savings of $570 billion and a decrease of 2.4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases.
Concerns persist about the short-term economic impact and reduced consumer options and were evident at a recent House Oversight Committee hearing.
During the “Cancelling Consumer Choice: Examining the Biden Administration’s Regulatory Assault on Americans’ Home Appliances,” many conservative leaders voiced concern such regulations may excessively limit choices for consumers and possibly lead to an increase in costs.