(CNN) — The Department of Energy is moving toward reversing a Trump-era rule that lowered water efficiency standards for shower heads, a government official confirmed to CNN on Friday.
The Trump-era rule on shower heads targeted the maximum flow rate of 9.5 liters per minute that Congress had set in the 1990s. During the Obama administration, each shower in a facility had that limit collectively, but then-President Donald Trump’s Department of Energy allowed each showerhead to reach 9.5 liters per minute individually.
The new proposal from the administration of President Joe Biden would return to the standards set by the Obama administration. The proposed action will be published in the Federal Register and then there is a 60-day period for public comment.
This proposed revocation was first reported by The Associated Press.
The savings with these standards for shower heads
A Biden administration official told CNN that these water efficiency standards saved Americans money and also saved water and energy.
Until 2020, these standards had saved consumers $ 111 billion in electricity and water bills, according to the official. They had also generated savings of more than 5 billion gigajoules of energy and more than 1.5 million kiloliters.
Those water savings equate to 107.5 billion showers that draw an average of 150 liters, the official said, equivalent to 63% of the water in Lake Champlain.
The Trump-era reviews, which were finalized in December 2020, were heavily criticized at the time by environmental advocates and various consumer groups, calling them wasteful and unnecessary.
Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project, said in a statement at the time that “changing the rules to address one of the things that bothers President Trump is just plain silly.”
He said the regulatory rollbacks “for products that unnecessarily waste energy and water are ridiculous and out of step with the long-term climate crisis and drought facing much of the country.”
Trump’s complaints about shower water and ‘perfect’ hair
Trump used to speak publicly about how much he disliked poor water flow and regretted that it interfered with his quest for “perfect” hair.
“So, the shower heads … You take a shower, the water doesn’t come out. You wash your hands, the water doesn’t come out. So what do you do? Do you stay there longer or do you take a longer shower? Because my hair, I don’t know about you, but (mine) has to be perfect. Perfect, “Trump said last year.
Trump also claimed that Americans flushed the toilets “10 times, 15 times, instead of once.”
In addition to the shower head rule, in December 2020 the Department of Energy established different product categories for residential washers and dryers that cycle under 30 minutes and meet lower efficiency standards.
Those measures were some of the latest examples of how Trump’s Department of Energy targeted home appliance standards and dismantled environmental regulations.
Trump’s Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement when the changes were finalized that the administration was affirming its commitment to “reduce regulatory burdens and safeguard consumer choices.”
CNN’s Liz Stark and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.