Be Afraid: Biden’s Regulatory Regime Is Now Targeting Household Appliances
Energy experts and manufacturers are warning that the Biden administration’s aggressive regulatory regime will lead to more expensive household appliances that are far less effective than current models.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has made so-called energy efficiency standards a central part of its climate agenda since Biden took office, boasting that it has taken more than 110 actions on appliances in 2022 alone. [emphasis, links added]
According to experts, though, the regulations impacting everything from water heaters and furnaces to clothes washers and dishwashers could ultimately be counterproductive.
“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 the 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.”
On his first day in office in January 2021, President Biden signed an executive order requiring the DOE to make “major revisions” to current appliance regulation standards and standards set by the Trump administration.
A month later, the agency began moving forward on more than a dozen energy-efficiency rules, impacting a wide range of appliances.
And the administration has continued introducing appliance regulations this year, unveiling rules in February that would restrict which cooking stoves, ovens, refrigerators, and clothes washers consumers can purchase.
The DOE said the efficiency rules would save consumers billions of dollars and “significantly reduce pollution” contributing to climate change.
“It should be up to the individual user as far as how much they choose to save,” Travis Fisher, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment, told Fox News Digital.
“The concept of a mandate really comes from the idea that the government knows better than the end user what kind of appliances they should be buying. I don’t buy into that premise at all.”
Like Fisher, Lieberman noted that manufacturers have already increased the overall efficiency of products and that consumers are free to make informed decisions based on what is available to them.
He said mandating more restrictions will force prices higher and could lead to less effectiveness, thereby wasting more energy.
“These standards are counterproductive from the energy and environmental savings standpoint, but they’re also a real inconvenience for consumers,” said Lieberman.
“They’re not so convenient because you might have to do things more than once. Even if you do things once, your clothes washer and dishwasher cycle times are already longer.”
He added that the standards could result in dirtier clothes and dishes, forcing consumers to either run a second cycle or wash by hand, which would waste more energy overall than current models.
A former senior DOE official argued the supposed savings from more-efficient appliances, which the Biden administration has touted as a main benefit of regulations, are minimal and often don’t outweigh their higher price.
“Their philosophy is energy efficiency at all costs or energy efficiency no matter the cost,” the official told Fox News Digital. “That means we are going to see, as a result of their efficiency standards, higher-priced appliances. It’s that simple.
“The reality is that we are not talking about saving huge amounts of energy from these new regulations.”
For example, a recently released clothes washer model made by LG costs $10 per year in energy costs while a less-efficient, but lower-priced model also made by LG costs $16 per year, according to DOE data.
Consumers may choose to pay the extra $6 per year in exchange for a more effective machine, the former DOE official said.
The comments from experts come after the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the leading U.S. trade group representing appliance makers and suppliers, issued a warning of its own, saying the DOE’s recent clothes washer regulations “would have a disproportionate, negative impact on low-income households” by eliminating cheaper appliances from the market.
AHAM has also argued that the administration’s appliance regulations targeting seven key areas — cooking, refrigerators and freezers, miscellaneous refrigeration, clothes washers, clothes dryers, microwave ovens, and room air conditioners — will result in worse products.
Top photo by RODNAE Productions via Pexels
Read rest at Fox News
Trackback from your site.