For Immediate Release: Apr. 8, 2015
Media Contact: Amber Pasricha Beck - 916-654-4989

MEDIA ADVISORY

Energy Commission Approves Water Appliance Standards
to Save More Than 100 Billion Gallons Per Year
Governor Brown's recent executive order helps to speed up approval

SACRAMENTO - Due to the severity of California's drought, the state's experts have been managing water resources to deal with the effects of the drought and prepare for the next one. As part of the solution, the California Energy Commission approved standards for water appliances which will save more than 10 billion gallons of water in the first year. Over time, the water savings is estimated to reach 105 billion gallons per year - a savings of more than three times the annual amount of water used by the City of San Francisco.

"California is serious about water conservation and is committed to consistent and clear water efficiency policies," said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission's lead on energy efficiency. "In the face of California's current drought, we must use water as efficiently as possible and updating minimum standards for toilets, urinals and faucets is a step in that direction."

The energy efficiency and water standards approved today require water appliances to consume less water thereby using less energy while performing the same function. The details for each appliance are as follows:

  • Toilets and urinals, except those designed for prisons or mental health facilities. Toilets shall not consume more than 1.28 gallons per flush and shall have a waste extraction score of no fewer than 350 grams. Urinals shall not consume more than 0.125 gallons per flush. (These facilities have specially-designed toilets and urinals to address security and health issues.)
  • Residential lavatory faucets shall not exceed 1.2 gallons per minute flow rate.
  • Kitchen faucets shall not exceed 1.8 gallons per minute flow rate and may have capability to increase to 2.2 gallons per minute momentarily for filling pots and pans.
  • Public lavatory faucets shall not exceed 0.5 gallon per minute flow rate.

As of January 2014, in California there were more than 45 million faucets, 30 million toilets, and 1 million urinals. California consumes about 443 billion gallons of water a year for flushing toilets and urinals and running faucets. Reducing water consumption by establishing minimum efficiency standards for these appliances is a key component of California's overall water and energy use reduction strategies.

Last week, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. directed the first ever statewide mandatory water reduction in Executive Order B-29-15. One of the four California Energy Commission responsibilities in the executive order is establishing standards that improve the efficiency of water appliances, including toilets, urinals and faucets available for sale and installation in new and existing buildings.

The executive order also gave the California Energy Commission the authority to adopt the standards today, rather than wait another month. In addition, the emergency situation allowed the commission to prohibit the sale and installation of certain toilets, urinals and faucets that do not meet minimum water efficiency requirements as of Jan. 1, 2016, regardless of the manufactured date.

For more than two years, California has been dealing with the effects of drought. To learn about all the actions the state has taken to manage our water system and cope with the impacts of the drought, visit Drought.CA.Gov. Every Californian should take steps to conserve water. Find out how at SaveOurWater.com.

Click the following links for broadcast quality audio flies via YouTube: English and Spanish.


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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. The agency was established by the California Legislature through the Warren-Alquist Act in 1974. It has seven core responsibilities: advancing state energy policy, encouraging energy efficiency, certifying thermal power plants, investing in energy innovation, developing renewable energy, transforming transportation and preparing for energy emergencies.

For more information, visit: www.energy.ca.gov or www.energy.ca.gov/releases/.

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