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Shaheen and Hassan Join Welch in Calling for Improving Water Heater Efficiency Standards to Lower Utility Costs, Reduce Emissions and Improve Energy Security

(Washington, D.C.)— U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Peter Welch (D-VT) led a group of Senate colleagues in calling for the Department of Energy (DOE) to expeditiously finalize proposed water heater efficiency standards, to lower utility bills, improve energy security, and reduce emissions. 

“Energy efficiency is essential to American energy security. The Energy Information Administration reports that electric resistance water heaters account for approximately one-fourth of the average household’s total electricity usage. The efficiency upgrades resulting from the proposed standards would cut this consumption in half, lowering electricity demand and reducing stress on the energy grid,” the lawmakers wrote. “We thank you again for your continued commitment to energy efficiency and support the Departments efforts to incorporate energy efficiency into America’s clean energy future.”

DOE has estimated that once they go into effect, the new standards will save American consumers nearly $200 billion on utility expenses over the next 30 years. They would also save an estimated 501 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 30 years—roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 50% of homes in the U.S.

Senators Shaheen, Hassan and Welch were joined by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). 

Full text of the letter is available here

Senator Shaheen has long worked to secure federal investments in clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Energy. Shaheen was also a key supporter of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included provisions for clean energy and climate investments in New Hampshire. Senator Shaheen was a lead negotiator of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which provided a $550 billion investment in our nation’s core infrastructure priorities – including roads and bridges, rail, transit, ports, airports, the electric grid, water systems and broadband. Shaheen successfully included key provisions of her energy efficiency bill – the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) – with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). She also included the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, the Promoting American Energy Jobs Act and the Heat Efficiency through Applied Technology (HEAT) Act.

Senator Hassan is working to strengthen energy efficiency and lower energy costs across New Hampshire. She was part of the bipartisan Senate group that negotiated the bipartisan infrastructure package, which includes provisions to support domestic battery energy storage development and deployment. This builds on her bipartisan Battery Storage Innovation Law – which was signed into law in 2020. In addition, the Inflation Reduction Act provides a tax cut to help families lower their energy bills by making energy-efficient home upgrades. This provision is based on the tax cut in Senators Hassan and Collins’ previously introduced bipartisan bill, the Home Energy Savings Act.