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DOE Withdraws Showerhead Ruling

The Department of Energy (DOE) has withdrawn an interpretive rule regarding the definition of the term showerhead under the Energy Policy Conservation Act, opting instead to provide guidance on enforcement of the rule and offer manufacturers a two-year grace period to show compliance.

The department announced the proposed rule in May 2010, which would have classified those fixtures with more than one nozzle and/or emitting more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute at 80 pounds per square inch as shower valves instead of showerheads.

Many stakeholders had interpreted the standard and the definition of showerhead, which Congress wrote into law in 1992, to mean that only the individual nozzles — not the entire system — must meet the 2.5 gpm/80 psi benchmark in order to be in compliance.

Due to complaints and the acknowledgment that the DOE had never actively enforced the standard — which the department says may have contributed to the confusion — the rule was removed from Office of Management and Budget review in February and formally withdrawn March 4.

The department also implemented a two-year grace period for manufacturers and private labelers to come into compliance with the law.



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