WASHINGTON (AP) – So much for Donald Trump’s quest for “perfect” Hair.
The Biden administration is reversing an approved Trump-era rule after the former president complained he wasn’t wet enough because of shower head water flow limitations.
Now, with a new president in office, the Energy Department is reverting to a standard passed in 2013, saying it provides plenty of water for good soaking and deep cleaning.
The rule change will have little practical effect, since nearly all commercially manufactured showerheads comply with the 2013 rule – despite the former president’s pet peeve.
The Energy Ministry said the action clarifies what is happening in the market. Showers that provide the additional supply of water that Trump wants are not easy to find, officials said.
Since 1992, federal law has dictated that new shower heads should pour no more than 2.5 gallons (9.5 liters) of water per minute. As new shower fixtures came out with multiple nozzles, the Obama administration set the shower head restrictions to apply to what comes out in total. So if there are four nozzles, no more than 2.5 gallons in total should come out of the four.
The Trump-era rule, finalized in December, allows each nozzle to spray up to 2.5 gallons, not just the overall showerhead.
A proposed rule change, due for publication in the Federal Register next week, reverts to the Obama-era standard. The public will have 60 days to comment before a final rule is developed.
The change will ensure that consumers continue to save money while reducing water use and paying lower energy bills, the Energy Department said. Officials estimated that the Obama-era rule saved households about $ 38 per year, and the Department of Energy expects similar savings by reverting to the 2013 standard.
“With many parts of America experiencing historic droughts, this common sense proposition means consumers can buy showerheads that conserve water and save them money on their utility bills.” Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, said Friday.
While speaking publicly about the need to keep her hair “perfect,” Trump has made increasing water flow and recalling long-standing appliance standards, including light bulbs, toilets and dishwashers, a personal matter.
“So the shower heads – you take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You want to wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out, ”Trump told the White House last year. “So what are you doing? Do you stay there longer or take a shower longer? Because my hair – I don’t know about you, but it must be perfect. Perfect.”
But consumer and conservation groups have said the 2020 rule change is foolish, unnecessary and unnecessary, especially as the West is suffering a historic two-decade mega-drought.
With four or five or more nozzles, “You might have 10, 15 gallons per minute to get out of the shower head, literally probably wash yourself out of the bathroom” said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project energy conservation group. “At a time when much of the country experiences severe drought exacerbated by climate change, there is no room for shower heads that use unnecessary amounts of water. “
DeLaski and officials at Consumer Reports said there had been no public outcry or need for change. The Department of Energy’s database of 12,499 showerheads showed that 74% of them use 2 gallons (7.5 liters) or less of water per minute, which is 20% less than the federal standard.
A 2016 Consumer Reports showerhead test found that the top-rated showerheads, including a $ 20 model, provided pleasant water flow and met federal standards.
The Ministry of Energy also proposes to delete the definition of “body spray” adopted in the final regulations of 2020. The rule allows “Body sprays” to bypass Congress’ intention to promote water conservation based simply on the direction of water flow – a sideways rather than an overhead spray.