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  • DOE Reinvades Showerhead Use

    For anyone who has ever taken a timed shower or gone to a laundromat to cut down on their household utilities bills, it should not come as a surprise that an efficient showerhead is an easy way to cut costs. Likewise, luxury shower and bath lovers might consider the extra energy cost of multiple showerheads to be a worthy sacrifice for the daily spa experience. Either way, the choice is a personal one made based on preference or financial constraints.

    Or is it?

    Of the many microscopic issues in which the Department of Energy (DOE) involves itself, one of the most ridiculous could be showerhead flow-capacity limits. In the name of conservation, a federal law limits the amount of water that can pass through a nozzle to 2.5 gallons per minute. The law was designed to limit both water and energy use related to pumping the water.

    Until recently, a loophole that allowed multi-nozzled showerheads (with each individual nozzle meeting the flow-capacity limit) put this personal choice where it belongs: in the hands of consumers. Showerheads with three or even eight nozzles could be purchased by homebuilders to equip luxury bathrooms as long as the per-nozzle water-flow limit was followed. Regrettably, the DOE decided that alternatives to the standard showerhead could no longer be allowed and, in May, sought to close the legal gap. A redefinition of showerheads is expected.

    Dictating the amount of water that is to be used in a shower has little bearing on energy policy and opens the door to far more invasive measures. If the DOE can limit the energy used in showering, it could just as easily involve itself in legislating how much energy any appliance can use, how long it can be used each day, or what kind of electronics can be sold.

    This may already be a reality in some states. For example, the California Energy Commission adopted a law last November that makes more than three-fourths of televisions illegal for exceeding stringent energy use standards. The list of appliances that are currently under national or state energy standards includes microwaves, clothes dryers, audio systems—even dehumidifiers.

    In involving itself so closely in the American household, the DOE has overstepped its bounds. Showerheads simply don’t fit under electricity, fuel, or energy on a national scale. Which showerhead to use should be a personal choice made by individual households, not by a commission or national organization.

    Kelsey Huber is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    24 Responses to DOE Reinvades Showerhead Use

    1. deb says:

      Who is the biggest idiot? The idiot making these inane regulations or the moron who appointed the idiot?

      Answer: Neither! It is the idiot who elected the moron who appointed the idiot making the regulations that are determined to destroy the houses that America built!!

      To everyone who voted for Obama, all I can say is: DUH!! What were you expecting!?

    2. Jay, Texas says:

      It takes about 5 seconds to make your shower head a full flow head. I did it to mine and whenever I have purchased a new one I fix it as well. My water bill is MY business

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    4. K Hoffman, Texas says:

      Ah… the Micro-Managment of our lives continues. Think its bad now? Wait till they come up with the National Home Workshop Safety Standards Act. Then if you cut your finger off using your table saw, and upon 'investigation' it was found that your shop had 'discrepancies', they'll deny you health care for your finger…..

    5. Stan B. says:

      This is another example of Regional Concerns driving National Policy. In the Ohio River Basin, where I have lived all my life, water availability has rarely, if ever, been a concern. The Ohio River flows pretty much the same every year, and there is always sufficient water for our use. Low flow shower heads, low flow toilets, low water washing machines – they are all expensive, unnecessary intrusions into our lives. There is no one size fits all policy, and to believe that somehow what I flush into the Ohio could somehow affect whether John Travolta has enough water in LA is ludicrous.

    6. john oh says:

      Can the 2nd American Revolution be on it's way??

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    8. lee0916 Arkansas says:

      These regulations have nothing to do with energy conservation, they are all about CONTROL. Control our healthcare, our automobile choice, when the smart grid is up and operating they will have control over how much electricity you use. It is 104 degrees and they decide you have used your limit for the day so they turn off the power to your air conditioner. Progressives are only interested in POWER and CONTROL of the people. The conservation of electricity, water, and fossil fuels is only their vehicle to gain that control.

    9. Dennis Georgia says:

      We have stooped to the lowest of lows, the "guvmnet" is now telling us how much water we can use to take a bath. I guess we will soon have someone knock on the door to measure and time our baths, as well as check to see how much water we use to brush our teeth.

    10. Charles Sainte Clair says:

      I am seldom in the shower more than four or five minutes. I ahould be able to pick any showerhead I want. And that should be no matter how long I am in the shower. My water heating bill is all I need to decide this.

    11. Doug Huffman, Washin says:

      Control is the goal!

    12. Sherry, Atlanta, GA says:

      You have got to be kidding!!

    13. james sexton says:

      Whend do they install the snoopy cameras in your bed-room? To make sure you are not having sex when you are supposed to be sleeping?



    14. Don, Fields Landing, says:

      President Obama must be following in the footsteps of the

      dictator Hugo Chavez. Can only take a shower a few minutes

      a day. What's next? Can only take a shower every 3 days?

      Obama must be defeated in 2012.

    15. Josh says:

      You people are nuts. You are looking for a conspiracy behind everything. I'm sure the left is really just a cover for the Illuminati and all they want to do is insidiously take control of your life. Soon they will limit how often you can defecate because its a waste of resources! Oh NO! Bring Bush back, all he did was ruin the economy, force the nation into an unnecessary war that is still sucking away our resources, and convince the rest of the world to hate the US. But at least he never touched our showerheads!

    16. Bishop Croman - Kingston, WA says:

      2.5 gpm flow rates for shower heads are tested for 80 psi water systems (like city water). Those of us on a well who have pressures around 40-50psi, flow restricted shower heads are a bit like showering under the jowls of a Newfoundland.

    17. Bergo, Dallas says:

      The DOE is a bunch of worhtless mornons ballooning the government and striving to justify its own existience. here's a tip everyone, unscrew your showerhead and take out the little white plasitc disc. Walla! 2.5 to 5.0 in a jiffy. Suck it DOE.

    18. Jim Harff, Washington, DC says:

      Not only doesn’t DOE belong in the shower stall, it also has not done the math on how little water would be saved under this usurpation of personal consumer decision making! All the energy used (and water consumed by heat-strruck Washington DOE bureaucrats) in making this re-definition no doubt would exceed that saved in barring multi-head showers!

    19. Dave - Kentucky says:

      Just the tip of the probe.

      Obviously, you have not studied the Smart Grid concept coming from the power supplier near you.

    20. Jim - America says:

      We need to employ another few thousand Federal employees to take away our freedoms

    21. JoJoe , Richfield Sp says:

      That it! Anyone who smells too clean will be fined!

      Someone from the IRS will soon be coming around to inspect your home and shower for all kinds of violations and politically incorrect items.

      Big fines, confiscation, criminalization. Even your garden!

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    24. JB says:

      People, take your medication already. This isn’t a conspiracy. This is a classic case of the “tragedy of the commons” (look it up.) Water is everyone’s resource, not just yours. If you use it up, there’s none for me. If you must be fearful, be so of the selfish water waster, not those who are trying to protect the resource!

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