Environmental Groups Intervene in Attack on Water Heater Efficiency Standards


Emily Deanne, NRDC, edeanne@nrdc.org
Alexandria Trimble, Earthjustice, atrimble@earthjustice.org
Shannon Van Hoesen, Sierra Club, shannon.vanhoesen@sierraclub.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) intervened to defend a Department of Energy (DOE) efficiency standard for commercial water heaters. The standard was finalized by DOE last month and the American Gas Association, the American Public Gas Association, and the National Propane Gas Association subsequently challenged the rule in an attempt to weaken the standard. NRDC was joined by Earthjustice and Sierra Club in filing the motion to intervene last night. 

“This is a senseless attack on a rule that is good for business and good for the climate,” said Joe Vukovich, staff attorney at NRDC. “The commercial water heater standard promises savings of $149 million per year in operating costs for businesses and will prevent 38 million metric tons of climate-warming carbon emissions over 30 years. We can’t afford to delay this overdue update for water heaters any longer.” 

“Setting strong efficiency standards for commercial appliances like water heaters is a smart and cost-effective way to reduce energy use,” said Timothy Ballo, senior attorney at Earthjustice. “DOE's efficiency standard meaningfully reduces smog-forming emissions from gas-fired water heaters and helps restaurants and other small businesses save money on their energy bills. We'll continue to affirm DOE's responsibility to adopt the strongest efficiency standards that are economically justified.”

“The Department’s new standards will mean less harmful air pollution, lower operating costs, and increased grid reliability,” said Amneh Minkara, deputy director of Sierra Club's Building Electrification campaign. “Unfortunately, those are not priorities for the fossil fuel industry and the American Gas Association, who instead want to protect their bottom line by making sure that as much polluting gas as possible is burned in space and water heating equipment for years to come.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.