by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Dominic Pino of National Review Online critiques the latest example of the Biden administration’s penchant for regulatory overreach.
The Biden administration wants stricter efficiency requirements for dishwashers in an effort to make them greener. It would likely backfire.
“Under the Energy Department’s proposed standard, conventional household dishwashers made in or imported into the US as soon as 2027 would have to use 27% less power and 34% less water — no more than 3.3 gallons during their normal, default cycles. Compact models would see a 22% and 11% reduction in power and water use, respectively. The requirements would not apply to other dishwasher cycles, including those with faster run times.”
Less powerful dishwashers may use less water, but they could also yield dishes that are less clean. In response, people would likely do one of two things: run the dishwasher more than once or clean more dishes in the sink before or after putting them in the dishwasher.
If your dishwasher uses 34 percent less water per load, but you run it twice, you’re using more water than if you only ran it once. Since the proposed rule would only apply to default cycles, people would be more likely to use heavier cycles more often. And dishwashers, even less efficient ones, are more water-efficient than washing dishes in the sink.
Kitchen-sink faucets generally have flow rates around 1.5–2 gallons per minute, so if you leave it on the whole time and it takes you ten minutes to wash the dishes, you’re using 15–20 gallons of water. Even if you turn it on and off and only run it for a total of five minutes, that’s 7.5–10 gallons of water.
The most common dishwashers on the market right now use less than four gallons of water per load. Even old dishwashers, which are less efficient, would be very unlikely to use more than 12 gallons per load.