Appliance Efficiency Standards

Appliance efficiency 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 to state standards last updated in 2009.

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.

Rules Development

Commerce will update its existing rules, WAC 194-24, to reflect the effect of the 2019 legislation. This includes removing products that are no longer subject to state standards and adding the products covered by the 2019 law. In tandem with the updates of these rules, Commerce will be developing rules for compliance of eligible products. Many of the new standards will follow existing standards such as ENERGY STAR and California Title 20 (see resources).

The 2019 legislation provides Commerce with flexibility to adjust standards over time. It may adopt a more recent version of any standard or test method established in this bill, including any product definition associated with the standard or test method. This authority allows Commerce to maintain or improve consistency with other comparable standards in other states.

Rulemaking Activities

Past Rulemaking Workshop

Initial Rulemaking Workshop (08/05/2019)

Rulemaking Workshop (09/25/2019)
Commerce had its second stakeholder workshop in the rulemaking process to discuss stakeholder’s initial written comments and the draft rule language.

Appliance Products in Bill

See the Appliance Definitions, Standards and Test Methods Chart (PDF) regarding products in this law. This document is a summary of appliance definitions, standards and test methods, prepared for the convenience of the public. Commerce will conduct a rulemaking process to implement the 2019 law that established these standards.

Existing Standards

  • Bottle-type water dispensers and point-of-use water dispensers
  • Commercial hot food holding cabinets
  • Hot water dispensers and mini-tank electric water heaters
  • Portable electric spas
  • Residential pool pumps
  • Tub spout diverters

New Standards

Water Products

  • Faucets
  • Showerheads
  • Spray sprinkler bodies
  • Urinals
  • Water closets
  • Water coolers

Lighting Products

  • General service lamps
  • High color rendering index (CRI) lamps

Commercial Products

  • Dishwashers
  • Fryers
  • Steam cookers

Other products

  • Air compressors
  • Computers and computer monitors
  • Portable air conditioners
  • Electric storage water heaters
  • Residential ventilating fans
  • Uninterruptible power supplies

Legal Resources


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