Codes, Standards, and Voluntary Programs for Water Efficiency
Recently, voluntary programs have emerged that seek to leverage public/private
partnerships and use market-based incentives (e.g., certification label) to further
improve the water efficiency and performance of individual products and appliances
beyond the requirements established by EPAct or the conventional products avail-
able in the marketplace. Notable national voluntary programs specifying product
and appliance water efficiency include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s
EPA’s) WaterSense® program, EPA and DOE’s ENERGY STAR,® and the Consortium for
Energy Efficiency (CEE):
WaterSense is a public/private partnership program that develops specifications
for water-efficient, high-performing products. Products that are independently
certified to meet WaterSense criteria earn the WaterSense label, which distin-
guishes them from standard products on the market. WaterSense has developed
specifications for both residential and commercial products. For more informa-
tion, visit the WaterSense website.
ENERGY STAR is a joint public/private partnership program sponsored by EPA
and DOE that develops specifications for energy-efficient products and buildings.
Products that meet ENERGY STAR criteria are qualified to earn the ENERGY STAR
label, which distinguishes them from standard products on the market. ENERGY
STAR has developed specifications for many water-using products. For more
information, visit the ENERGY STAR website.
CEE is a non-profit consortium of efficiency program administrators that pro-
motes the use of energy-efficient products, technologies, and services. Where
there is significant opportunity and interest from its membership, CEE develops
national initiatives that can be used as templates for individual energy-efficiency
programs. Related to water efficiency, CEE has developed initiatives for commer-
cial ice makers, residential and commercial clothes washers, residential dishwash-
ers, and some commercial kitchen equipment.
The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) maintains a list of current and proposed
national efficiency standards and voluntary specifications for residential and com-
mercial water-using fixtures and appliances.
This is a useful reference tool for under-
standing the types of water-efficient products and appliances that are available on
the market and for determining their relative water savings potential.
To further encourage the adoption of water-efficient products and appliances, local
jurisdictions or utilities may offer rebates or incentive programs. In many instances,
the incentives are provided for products recognized or labeled by the national volun-
tary programs discussed above.
Consortium for Energy Efficiency, Inc.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program
EPA and DOE’s ENERGY STAR.
Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE). Green Building Guidelines & Standards.