Biden Energy Department Blocks Faster Dishwashers That Consumers Want

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The Biden administration today undid a useful, consumer-friendly reform put in place by Biden’s predecessor, reinstating energy restrictions that make household dishwashers take much longer to get the job done.

CEI attorney Devin Watkins criticized the move:

President Biden’s decision to block faster 1-hour dishwashers will waste the time of many American consumers. The Biden Energy Department says allowing these new types of dishwashers would run counter to the purpose of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, but the agency fails to consider the purpose of a dishwasher—to clean dishes effectively and quickly. A survey conducted by CEI shows over 80 percent of consumers want faster dishwashers. But regulators claim they don’t have the time and resources to help people out with new standards that make dishwashers perform better.

How did we get here? In 2018, CEI petitioned the Department of Energy (DOE) to allow a new, better class of dishwashers that can clean and dry dishes in under an hour. This commonsense change in regulation was needed because, due to federal regulations, the average dishwasher cycle time has more than doubled to two hours over the past 30 years.

Based on a flood of thousands of comments in support, DOE granted CEI’s petition and established the new class of dishwashers in 2020. The Trump administration’s DOE liked this so much in 2021 it created on its own, similar faster classes of clothes washers and dryers.

But then, on his first day in office, no less, President Biden ordered the DOE to reconsider these new classes of dishwashers, along with clothes washers and dryers. Today, DOE finalized that process and decided to revoke these new classes of dishwashers. As described it, “the Biden administration has decided to take the side of big business in this conflict between industry and individuals.”