WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials recognizes the U.S. House of Representatives for its recent passage of H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015. The House voted, 249-174, in favor of this comprehensive energy package including many provisions relating to the electric grid, energy-efficiency provisions, heating and cooling standards, as well as WaterSense authorization. The legislation can be read in its entirety at http://www.iapmo.org/governmentrelations/Documents/BILLS-114hr8rh.pdf.
While WaterSense has been an extremely successful program with heavy private-sector support for nearly a decade, this legislation takes the important step of officially authorizing the program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Under this bill, the EPA would also be responsible for establishing a certification procedure, overseeing third-party certifications and preventing misuse of the label in the marketplace. Another important piece of the WaterSense provision is ensuring that there are no conflicting or duplicative requirements between the Department of Energy’s Energy Star program and the EPA’s WaterSense program.
“This legislation requires the EPA to use sound science and economic feasibility when updating standards, and ensures the program has both quality oversight and the flexibility sought by the industries that participate,” said Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), who introduced the WaterSense language as an amendment to H.R. 8 during committee action. “As WaterSense becomes more popular and effective, this legislation enables consumers and manufacturers to continue to benefit from affordable, water conserving options.”
Modeled after the Energy Star program, WaterSense is a labeling and recognition program that seeks to protect the future of the U.S. water supply by offering consumers a simple way to make product-purchasing choices that conserve water with no sacrifice to quality or performance. Services and products earning the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient than average products in the same category without affecting performance. Such products include toilets, urinals, showerheads, bathroom faucets, landscape irrigation controllers and pre-rinse spray valves.
IAPMO R&T is the leading provider of WaterSense product certification in the nation and has been a U.S. EPA-licensed provider, accredited by the American National Standards Institute, since 2007, certifying the first high-efficiency toilet to the standard in April of that year. To date, IAPMO R&T, part of The IAPMO Group, has certified thousands of such water-efficient products to the WaterSense specifications.
“IAPMO has long been a staunch supporter and protector of the EPA’s WaterSense program since its inception in 2006,” said Dain Hansen, senior vice president of Government Relations at The IAPMO Group. “We have supported and lobbied for the federal authorization of WaterSense in many forms in the past and will continue to do so until such language is enacted into law.”
The energy package now moves to the Senate for consideration.