Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In Hot Water Over Showerhead Certification

So, you've gone out and purchased low-flow showerheads for your guestrooms. Are you sure they are delivering the savings they promise? The next time you have a chance, get a bucket that holds at least several gallons of water. Make sure it is marked for measurement. Turn on the shower and let it run for exactly one minute. A 2.5 gallons per minute showerhead should deliver exactly that: 2.5 gallons of water.

Why the skepticism? The Office of General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued Notices of Proposed Civil Penalty to four manufacturers for failing to certify that their showerheads meet the applicable water conservation standard as required by the Energy Policy Conservation Act and DOE regulations. The Notices collectively propose penalties of more than $3 million. Unless the manufacturers settle the claims within 30 days, the DOE can file actions in District Court or with an Administrative Law Judge to demand payment for the failure to certify these products.

Notices of Proposed Civil Penalty were issued to Zoe Industries, Altmans Products LLC, EZ-FLO International, and Watermark Designs, Ltd. after complaints were received about non-conserving products being sold by these companies. Conservation professionals have been concerned about the prevalence of high-flow showerheads on the market for several years and submitted information to the DOE on the suspected scofflaws.

Are the showerheads you purchased properly certified to be water efficient? If they are not, you can report potential violations. Forward your request, along with the manufacturer name, address, and model number to

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