Press Release

Following Welch-led Push, DOE Announces New Water Heater Efficiency Standards to Lower Costs for Families, Accelerate Clean Energy Technology Deployment 

May 2, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, applauded the Department of Energy’s (DOE) announcement that the agency has finalized amended water heater efficiency standards to save consumers over $7 billion on annual utility bills and cut down on harmful pollution. The Department’s announcement comes after Senators Welch and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) led a group their Senate colleagues calling on the DOE to update water heater efficiency standards to lower utility bills for families and accelerate clean energy deployment. 

“Improving our nation’s energy efficiency is crucial to our fight against climate change and bolstering American energy security,” said Senator Welch. “That’s why last year, I worked with Senator Shaheen and our colleagues in urging the DOE to increase water heater efficiency standards. The amended water heater efficiency standards announced by DOE are the strongest standards in history, and truly a win-win: saving folks billions on energy bills in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that pollute our planet. I applaud the DOE for its swift action finalizing these updated efficiency standards and will continue to support efforts that help lower costs for families and move us closer to a clean energy future.” 

The amended standards announced by DOE would require the most commonly sized electric water heaters to achieve efficiency gains with heat pump technology, helping to accelerate the deployment of this cost-effective, clean energy technology while also reducing strain on the electric grid. DOE has estimated that these amended standards will save households an estimated $7.6 billion per year on their annual utility bills and save consumers $124 billion in energy bills over 30 years.