In a message to members, John Hausoul, executive director of the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association, said: "...the Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed a rule to reclassify a showerhead. This change could have a dramatic impact on the concept of luxury and prevent many shower applications from being sold since the water usage would exceed the 2.5 gpm max. DPHA has not engaged in legislative affairs in the past, but as the industry's most active trade association, this is an issue that we could not ignore."
To ensure an efficient and prompt response, DPHA coordinated with the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute (PMI), and with their permission, incorporated their comments.
DPHA said it is “greatly concerned about DOE’s intentions to move forward and develop a completely new definition of showerhead without regard to its impact on plumbing manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and the general public.”
DPHA’s comments addressed the following issues:
- DOE’s showerhead “interpretive” rule must be subject to APA rulemaking procedures (notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). 5 U.S.C. § 553).
- DOE’s redefinition disregards important technical distinctions between a showerhead and a shower valve.
- DOE’s interpretation fails to account for water efficiency and costs to school systems and health care institutions.
- DOE's water efficiency focus is misplaced. The current DOE action will either eliminate or dramatically increase the costs to aging Americans who depend upon dual hand and overhead showers as a necessity.