Lawmakers back co-ops on water heater rule
Electric cooperatives are urging the Department of Energy to consider alternatives to a new rule, due to take effect April 2015, that stands to phase out large-capacity 55 gallon and above electric water heaters that save energy and money for co-op members in demand response programs.
Nearly 100 lawmakers on Capitol Hill are backing rural electric cooperatives when it comes to their concerns about a proposed federal standard for large capacity electric water heaters.
Senators and House members from both parties are demanding a five-year waiver from the Department of Energy’s pending rule, for the sake of utilities and their consumers, that can save energy and money by using these large, grid-enabled water heaters for load management and thermal storage.
The nation’s electric cooperatives have recommended that the Department of Energy create a separate appliance category for large “grid-enabled” electric storage water heaters, or adopt a waiver for at least five years with a three-year notice for any modifications or elimination of the waiver.