1992 federal law says a showerhead can deliver no more than 2.5 gallons per minute at a flowing water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch.That in itself is a problem -- that they feel they can regulate that. But it gets worse!
But in May, the DOE said a "showerhead" may incorporate "one or more sprays, nozzles or openings." Under the new interpretation, all nozzles would count as a single showerhead and be deemed noncompliant if, taken together, they exceed the 2.5 gallons-a-minute maximum.If I want to pay for that, I WILL NOT stand for any busybody to tell me just how much energy I am "allowed" to use!
In May, the DOE's general counsel, Scott Blake Harris, fined four showerhead makers $165,104 in civil penalties, alleging they failed to demonstrate compliance for some devices.
Manufacturers and retailers say the new rules affect not just upscale systems but also those with hand-held sprays used by the elderly and disabled. Multiple showerheads often found in shower rooms at schools or gyms could also be at risk, manufacturers say. Customers will be disgruntled because of limited product range, they add.
"Did Congress limit consumer choice? Absolutely," the DOE's Mr. Harris says. "When you waste water, you waste energy." Each multi-head shower fixture uses an extra 40 to 80 thermal units of energy per year, equivalent to 50 gallons of gasoline, or one barrel of oil, he says.
The showdown is a challenge to President Barack Obama and his energy secretary, Steven Chu, as they try to cajole—or compel—Americans to use water and energy more efficiently. Mr. Chu, a self-described "zealot" for energy efficiency, says he crawls around in his attic in his spare time installing extra insulation.Send them back to the attic!
I will now "waste" energy and water with glee just to spite them.