Appliance Standards

Appliance standards represent a cost-effective strategy to protect consumers and businesses and strengthen the state’s clean energy economy. Efficiency products save energy and water, reduce long-term operating costs, and cut greenhouse gas emissions. On May 7, 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law House Bill 1444, which adds 17 new products (PDF) to state standards last updated in 2009. 

The standards are estimated to save Washington consumers and businesses $2 billion in energy and water costs. 

Most standards take effect on January 1, 2021. The effective dates of standards in this legislation are based on date of manufacture, not the date of sale. Products already in stores or warehouses may be installed after the new standards take effect. The standards apply to manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and installers, rather than to individual consumers.

The bill includes a first-in-nation water heater standard. The design requirement for electric water heaters ensures that all new units have a standard communications port. This basic technology will support the electric grid of the future by enabling utility programs to manage water heating loads more effectively and reduce demand in peak periods.

Rulemaking Activities

CR-103 for the Second Phase of Appliance Rules Published

The Washington Department of Commerce filed a CR-103 on Oct. 19 to implement the second phase of rules for Appliance Efficiency Standards (see 2019 House Bill 1444). The first phase of these Appliance Efficiency Standards updates were adopted in February.

Second phase of rules include:

  • New standards for air compressors, portable air conditioners and uninterruptible power supplies
  • Definitions of “distributor,” “distribute” and “manufacturer”
  • Updates to violations and administrative appeals rules
  • Revisions to marking and listing requirements for residential ventilating fans

Compliance deadline for heat pump water heaters not extended. At the request of a manufacturer, Commerce considered extending the compliance deadline currently in place for heat pump water heaters and decided an extension was not necessary. Effective date for this standard remains Jan. 1, 2021.

The rules adopted this week and supporting documents, including rule language and a summary of stakeholder comments and agency responses, are posted below.

Regulatory Advisories

Electric Storage Water Heater Labeling or Marking Requirements

Commerce issued a regulatory advisory on March 20, 2020, providing limited guidance on electric storage water heater labeling and marking. 

General Service Lamps

Commerce issued a regulatory advisory on March 12, 2020, providing limited guidance on the status of Washington standards for general service lamps.

Legal Resources

Public Comments and Past Workshops


Appliance Standards Awareness project leads a broad-based coalition effort that works to advance new appliance, equipment and lighting standards.

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Need Help?

Sarah Vorpahl, Ph.D.,
Sr. Energy Policy Specialist
Phone: 360-688-6000

Brittany Wagner, MPH,
Appliance Standards Program Manager