IAPMO, The High-Performance Buildings Coalition, and 61 of the nation’s leading manufacturers, associations, and professional organizations in the building industry delivered a letter Monday to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt urging continued federal funding for the highly successful WaterSense™ program.
A true public-private partnership, WaterSense is a voluntary product efficiency labeling program that identifies efficient and high-performing water-consuming products. While EPA spends approximately $3 million a year to administer the program, it has saved consumers more than $33 billion in water and energy bills since the program’s inception in 2006. The program is widely supported across the building industry and has enjoyed bipartisan support on Capitol Hill throughout its existence. This support is not only due to the program’s successful outcomes, but also because of the quality and integrity of the products bearing the WaterSense label, which are the result of federal government oversight and third-party certification. This has allowed WaterSense to benefit consumers and industry alike.
“IAPMO has long partnered with EPA on the WaterSense program,” IAPMO CEO GP Russ Chaney said. “We fully understand the desire to rein in our federal spending, but to eliminate such a small but impactful program like WaterSense will have detrimental effects on many U.S. manufacturers, home builders, retailers, and construction trades. With the many issues facing our country’s water infrastructure, keeping a well-run, efficient program already in place is a smart move from a business, job, and infrastructure perspective.”
Because of the value of WaterSense to their business, employees, communities, and customers, more than 1,700 manufacturers, water and energy utilities, distributors, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, trade associations, and retailers nationwide have partnered with the program.
“Since its creation just more than 10 years ago, WaterSense has clearly proven that it transcends the political spectrum with wide private-sector support,” said Dain Hansen, IAPMO’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Chair of the High-Performance Building Coalition. “Acting as a neutral administrator, EPA plays a vital role in this voluntary program, a role that cannot be done by the private sector. The private sector will continue to support this program, but needs EPA’s leadership for it to run effectively, efficiently, and in an unbiased manner, as it has historically done.”
WaterSense’s impact on America’s communities and industry is hard to miss. For instance, all toilets, faucets, and showers sold in The Home Depot stores are WaterSense labeled. Last year, The Home Depot offered more than $43.8 million in product markdowns of WaterSense-labeled products to encourage homeowners to switch out their older, less efficient devices. The retailer also partnered with utilities to make more than 350 local utility rebates available to its customers. This included a statewide campaign in drought-stricken California to provide $100 incentives for WaterSense-labeled toilets.