House Passes Bill Designed To Rein In Federal Regulatory Blitz Targeting Appliances

The House passed a bill Tuesday that would restrict the federal government’s ability to issue energy efficiency regulations for household appliances.

The House passed the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act by a 212-195 bipartisan vote, with seven Democrats joining Republicans present to send the bill to the Senate. The bill would alter the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to prohibit the Department of Energy (DOE) from issuing new or updated energy efficiency standards for appliances that are not technologically possible and economically justifiable, according to its text.

The Biden administration, led chiefly by the DOE, has promulgated a number of regulations that effectively push the market away from less efficient, but generally less expensive, appliances in favor of more efficient models. The administration has advanced regulations targeting items like refrigeratorswater heatersfurnaces, pool pump motors and portable generators.

 

Specifically, the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act would require the DOE to consider the cost-effectiveness of new energy efficiency regulations for appliances, which includes the effects that any changes would have on low-income Americans, according to its text. The bill would also make the agency analyze the lifecycle costs of new appliances before changing standards.

While the administration asserts that rules pushing energy efficient appliances will save Americans money on electricity bills in the long-term, opponents have characterized the regulations as bureaucratic overreach that imposes regressive upfront expenses on consumers.

“I am saddened that we would need such a bill,” Republican Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko, who introduced the bill, said in a statement after the vote. “However, as we have experienced under this administration, the Department of Energy has unleashed an avalanche of new regulations for household products, including stoves, dishwashers, washing machines, showers, toilets, water heaters, air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces. No government bureaucrat should EVER scheme to take away Americans’ appliances in the name of a radical environmental agenda, yet that is exactly what we have seen under the Biden administration.”

While Republicans were able to pass the bill along their thin majority in the House, they are unlikely to have much success in the Senate, which is controlled by the Democrats.


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