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 March 11, 2022, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law House Bill 1619. This legislation updated three existing appliance standards: commercial hot food holding cabinets, portable electric spas, and residential ventilating fans, and added three additional ones: air purifiers, commercial ovens and electric vehicle supply equipment. 

These changes build on the state standards passed into law in 2019 in HB 1444. Computers and monitors were also updated by rule and went into effect May 12, 2022. The standards are estimated to save Washington consumers and businesses $2 billion in energy and water costs.

The effective dates of the standards vary by product, but all are based on date of manufacture, not 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 Appliance Standards Guidebook is a good resource that explains each product’s requirements in more detail.

CR-102 filed: Update to computer monitors efficiency standards

On December 22, 2021, the Washington Department of Commerce filed a CR-102 (pdf), proposing an updated reference standard for computers and computer monitors. The proposed rule would update WAC 194-24-030 to reflect the most recent amendments to California Rule, Title 20. This current standard references section 1605.3(v) of the California Rule, which has since been updated with new, higher efficient power consumption standards for computer monitors. Computers are still included in the updated rule section, but there were no changes to their power consumption standards.

Resources

On March 1, 2022, Commerce suspended the state’s water heater appliance standard in WAC 194-24-180 until June 29, 2022. This 120-day suspension follows a previous temporary suspension, which began on Nov. 1, 2021.

Washington’s water heater standard requires that electric water heaters have an electronic communications port. Manufacturers requested the suspension because of an inability to obtain necessary parts. The Washington standard took effect on Jan. 1, 2021, for heat pump water heaters and was scheduled to take effect on Jan 1, 2022, for standard electric resistance models.

Commerce finds that economic disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic continue to stymie global supply chains, preventing manufacturers from accessing critical materials required for manufacturing electronic communication ports. These disruptions are already affecting the supply of heat pump water heaters, which are often installed in new buildings to help meet energy code requirements, and could have been expected to escalate when standard resistance water heaters would have become covered by the standard.

In addition to this temporary suspension, Commerce filed a CR-101 in order that a reasonable effective date for this standard may be established on a permanent basis. The 120-day suspension of the standard is the longest delay possible under emergency rules. The CR-101 will allow Commerce to monitor market conditions and establish an effective date that is responsive to product availability and not bound by the 120-day limit.

The initial emergency rule amendment, issued Nov. 1, 2021, followed a public comment period in which there was broad support from manufacturers, distributors, utilities and clean energy advocates for a temporary suspension of the standard due to current global supply chain delays. Stakeholder comments are posted here.

Commerce will continue to monitor availability of necessary materials and re-evaluate regularly in order to establish a reasonable permanent effective date beyond June 29, 2022.

Resources: 
Emergency rule documents
Request for suspension documents
Public Comments

Questions may be sent to appliances@commerce.wa.gov.

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. 

Resources:

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.

Resources:

Legal Resources

Resources

Need Help?

Liz Reichart, MPA
Sr. Energy Policy Specialist
appliances@commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-515-8194

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

Steven Hershkowitz
Legislative and Rulemaking Coordinator
appliances@commerce.wa.gov

Sign up for Email Updates

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.