Showerheads

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The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 6291–6309 (EPCA) establishes energy conservation or water use standards and test procedures for certain consumer products, including showerheads.  Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 430 (10 CFR 430), defines the term “showerhead” to mean a component or set of components distributed in commerce for attachment to a single supply fitting, for spraying water onto a bather, typically from an overhead position, excluding safety shower showerheads. (10 CFR 430.2)  The Department of Energy (DOE) last amended the test procedures for showerheads on September 30, 2013.  Under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 6295(j)(3), the water use standards for showerheads have not been amended.

Current Standard | Current Test Procedure | Ongoing Rulemaking for Standards | Ongoing Rulemaking for Test Procedure | Helpful Links


Recent and Ongoing Activities

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the public comment period for the early assessment request for information (RFI) regarding proposals to amend the test procedures for faucets and showerheads. DOE published the RFI in the Federal Register on September 2, 2021, establishing a 32-day public comment period ending October 4, 2021. On September 9, 2021, DOE received a comment requesting extension of the comment period to at least 30 days. DOE is extending the public comment period for submitting comments and data on the RFI document by an additional 15 days, to October 19, 2021, for a total of a 47 day comment period.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice undertaking an early assessment review to determine whether to proceed with a rulemaking to amend the test procedures for faucets and showerheads. Specifically, through this request for information (“RFI”), DOE seeks comment on the applicable consensus-based test procedures for measuring the water use of faucets and showerheads and whether such industry produces results that measure water use during a representative average use cycle or period of use for faucets and showerheads, and are not unduly burdensome to conduct. DOE welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including topics not raised in this RFI) as well as the submission of data and other relevant information concerning this early assessment review.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR), proposing to revise the current definition of “showerhead” adopted in the December 16, 2020 final rule (December 2020 Final Rule) by reinstating the prior definition of “showerhead.” This reinstatement of the prior definition is consistent with the purposes of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). Further, DOE has tentatively determined that, in reinstating the prior definition of “showerhead,” all showerheads within a product containing multiple showerheads will be considered part of a single showerhead for determining compliance with the 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) standard. In addition, DOE proposes to remove the current definition of “body spray” adopted in the December 2020 Final Rule. Finally, DOE does not propose any changes to the definition of “safety shower showerhead” adopted in the December 2020 Final Rule. DOE invites comment on all aspects of this proposal, including data and information to assist in evaluating whether the definition of “showerhead” from the October 2013 Final Rule should be reinstated, and announces a webinar to collect comments and data on its proposal.

DOE has published a Federal Register Final Rule adopting a revised definition for “showerhead” and definitions for “body spray” and “safety shower showerhead”. The revised regulatory definition for “showerhead” is consistent with the most recent standard developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (“ASME”) in 2018, such that each showerhead in a product containing multiple showerheads would be considered separately for purposes of determining standards compliance. DOE has determined that the definition is consistent with EPCA and, unlike the current definition, compliant with the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act and Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) Circular A-119. In addition, the definition is consistent with DOE's treatment of other products, such as body sprays. DOE is also defining the terms “body spray” and “safety shower showerhead” to clarify which products are not subject to the current energy conservation standard. With regard to the showerhead test procedure, DOE emphasizes in this final rule that the existing test procedure remains applicable for purposes of measuring the water use of a showerhead as defined in this final rule. DOE is not finalizing any test procedure amendments in this final rule.

  • The effective date of this rule is January 15, 2021. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in this rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on January 15, 2021.

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the public comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) regarding proposals to amend the regulatory definition of the statutory term “showerhead.”  

DOE has published a Federal Register notice announcing a webinar and comment extension pertaining to test procedures for showerheads. On August 13, 2020 DOE published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) regarding proposals to amend the test procedures for showerheads and to request comment on the proposals. That NOPR also announced a webinar but did not announce a webinar date. Additionally, on August 18, 2020, DOE received a request from Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) to extend the comment period for the NOPR by 30 days.

DOE had published a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking to amend the existing test procedure for showerheads to revise the definition of a showerhead consistent with the most recent standard developed by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in 2018. DOE's current definition considers all of the individual showerheads (which DOE has termed variously as sprays, openings, or nozzles) in a product containing multiple showerheads together for purposes of compliance with the water conservation standard established in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). DOE proposes instead to define showerhead as that term is defined in the 2018 ASME standard, such that each showerhead in a product containing multiple showerheads would be considered separately for purposes of determining standards compliance, and only one of them would need to be turned on for testing. DOE has determined that the proposed definition is consistent with EPCA and, unlike the current definition, compliant with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119. In addition, the proposed definition is consistent with DOE's treatment of other products, such as body sprays. DOE also proposes to define the terms “body spray” and “safety shower showerhead” to clarify which products are not subject to the current energy conservation standard. DOE invites comment on all aspects of this proposal, and announces a public webinar to collect comments and data on its proposal.

For the latest information on the planned timing of future DOE regulatory milestones, see the current Office of Management and Budget Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. All planned dates are preliminary and subject to change.

Standards

DOE has published a Federal Register Final Rule pertaining to standards for showerheads .85FR81341 (December 16, 2020)

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 amended EPCA to add water conservation standards for showerheads, based on the flow rate requirements contained in American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)/American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard A112.18.1M-1989, which are codified under Title 42 of the U.S. Code (42 U.S.C.), section 6295(j). Under 42 U.S.C. 6295(j)(3), if the maximum flow rate requirements contained in ASME/ANSI Standard A112.18.1M are amended to improve the efficiency of water use, the Secretary of Energy shall consider establishing an amended uniform national standard at the level specified in the amended ASME/ANSI Standard.  To date, ASME has not updated the flow rate requirements for showerheads.

Public Meeting Information:

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.

Test Procedure

DOE has published a Federal Register notice extending the public comment period for the early assessment request for information (RFI) regarding proposals to amend the test procedures for faucets and showerheads. 86FR53013 (September 24, 2021). 

DOE has published a Federal Register notice undertaking an early assessment review to determine whether to proceed with a rulemaking to amend the test procedures for faucets and showerheads. 86FR49261 (September 2, 2021).

DOE has published a Federal Register notice announcing a webinar and comment extension pertaining to test procedures for showerheads. 85FR53707 (August 31, 2020)

DOE had published a Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to test procedure for showerheads. 85FR49284 (August 13, 2020).

DOE last updated the test procedure for showerheads in a final rule, published October 23, 2013, to incorporate by reference ASME A112.18.1-2012.  78 FR 62970.

The showerheads test procedure rulemaking docket EERE-2011-BT-TP-0061 contains all pertinent notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents.

Public Meeting Information

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.


Current Standard

The flow rate of a showerhead manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(10) and (16) respectively, must be not greater than the maximum water use standards under 10 CFR 430.32(p).


Current Test Procedure

To determine whether a showerhead is in compliance with the water use standards under 10 CFR 430.2(p), a manufacturer must measure the maximum flow rate in accordance with 10 CFR 430, Appendix S of Subpart B.


Helpful Links

Compliance

DOE has established regulations for certification, compliance, and enforcement in 10 CFR Part 429. These regulations cover statistical sampling plans, certified ratings, certification reports, record retention, and enforcement.  More information about compliance and enforcement is available on DOE's Implementation webpage.

Waivers

For information on current test procedure waivers, see DOE’s Waivers webpage.  
For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 430.27.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for showerheads.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

For information on further guidance and answers to Frequently Asked Questions on all covered products, see DOE’s Further Guidance database.

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

A State may petition DOE for exemption from preemption of a Federal water conservation standard in certain cases of unusual or compelling State or local water interests.  A State may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemption. See 10 CFR part 430, subpart D.  DOE has not exempted any State from this water conservation standard.

On December 22, 2010, DOE published in the Federal Register a final rule to waive the general rule of Federal preemption for water use standards, under 42 U.S.C. 6297(c), with respect to any State regulation concerning showerheads if such State regulation is (1) more stringent than Federal regulation concerning the water use or water efficiency for that same type or class of product, and (2) applicable to any sale or installation of all products in that particular type or class.  75 FR 80289.

Small Business Exemptions

Any manufacturer of a covered product with annual gross revenues that do not exceed $8,000,000 from all its operations and meets certain other conditions may apply for an exemption to the energy conservation standard. For details, see 10 CFR part 430, subpart E.

ENERGY STAR®

DOE supports the testing and verification of ENERGY STAR® products in close collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySavers.gov.

Contact information

For more information related to this product, please email:
ApplianceStandardsQuestions@ee.doe.gov


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