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

Upcoming hearings and comment deadlines

Phase two appliance standards public hearing and comment deadline
May 15, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Commerce has filed its proposed rules and CR-102 for phase two of its appliance standards rulemaking. These documents will be published in the Washington State Register on April 15 and are currently available below.

Phase two of Commerce’s appliance standards rulemaking includes three products, air compressors, portable air conditioners, and uninterruptible power supplies. These products were not included in the initial phase due to ongoing litigation regarding stalled federal standards.

A public hearing on phase two of Commerce’s proposed appliance rules will be held virtually starting at 2:00 p.m. on May 15. The link to the virtual public hearing can be found by clicking on the Webex link below.

The deadline for written comments on the proposed rules is also May 15. Send comments by email to appliances@commerce.wa.gov.

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

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
appliances@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-688-6000

Brittany Wagner, MPH,
Appliance Standards Program Manager
appliances@commerce.wa.gov
360-764-0225