Press Release

Legislators From 38 States Show Support for Federal Proposal to Make Water Heaters More Efficient 

September 26, 2023



NCEL Point of Contact

Taylor Anderson
Communications Director


More than 200 members of the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators representing 38 states and territories submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Energy today in support of the agency’s proposal to increase the efficiency levels of water heaters which generate high energy bills and contribute to the climate crisis.

The Department of Energy recently proposed a regulation to increase the efficiency levels of consumer water heaters which would save Americans money on their energy bills while simultaneously benefiting the planet and human health. Water heating bills are one of the largest energy expenses for most households, and the proposed standards would reduce energy bills for households with electric storage water heaters by $238 per year on average. More efficient water heaters would also help put the U.S. on track to meet its climate goals while reducing exposure to harmful air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, which can lead to major health complications. 

“We’re urging the Department of Energy to swiftly finalize this proposed rule,” said Nevada Assemblymember Howard Watts, who helped organize this letter. “Water heaters are the second largest energy user in households, and outdated standards mean higher energy bills that hit lower-income households particularly hard. The new proposed standards are a win-win, saving money for the families we represent while also significantly reducing climate pollution across the country.”

These 206 state legislators have come together today in the interest of the public health, economic well-being, and future of their constituents to urge the U.S. Department of Energy to swiftly finalize this proposed rule for consumer water heaters.  

“States are stronger together and they are unified in their support for improving energy efficiency,” said NCEL Executive Director Dylan McDowell. “While legislators are doing great work on improving efficiency at the state level, these updates to federal guidelines will create a more effective baseline across the country to reduce emissions and ultimately save money.” 

Read the full letter here.


Created by and for state legislators, the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that organizes over 1,200 environmentally-committed state legislators from all 50 states and both parties. NCEL provides venues and opportunities for lawmakers to share ideas and collaborate on environmental issues.