With energy-consuming equipment, such as water heaters and refrigerators, we have good data on energy consumption and can set clear standards accordingly. In some product categories—clothes washers, for example—Energy Star standards were adopted because those standards provide a high enough threshold to represent just the very top segment of the product market (less than 10%). In other product categories—e.g., refrigerators and dishwashers—we set a higher threshold than ENERGY STAR: for example, exceeding those standards by 10% or 20%. With lighting and lighting control equipment, certain generic products qualify, such as compact fluorescent lamps and occupancy/daylighting controls, while in other categories only a subset of products qualify. In some cases, products that meet the energy efficiency requirements are excluded, because of evidence of poor performance or durability. Microturbines are included here because of the potential for cogeneration (combined heat and power) that they offer.
All toilets and most showerheads today meet the federal water-efficiency standards, but not all of these products perform satisfactorily. With toilets and showerheads, we include products that meet or exceed WaterSense standards, which includes performance requirements—although we go beyond WaterSense where there are issues not adequately addressed by the program. We also look for other products that conserve potable water, such as rainwater catchment and graywater recovery and reuse systems.
Tapmaster is a foot- or knee-activated switch that controls the flow to a faucet. The conventional hand controls are used to set the temperature balance and flow volume between hot and cold water, and the foot switch is used to turn the flow on and off. A lock-on button allows the water to be left running when necessary. Water savings are significant but difficult to quantify, as they depend on user habits. Tapmaster is widely used in dental offices for hygienic reasons, as well as homes. Easy installation with no electronics or wires, pressure tank, bulky mechanical devices, or ongoing maintenance.
Many conservation efforts—in industrial, commercial, and residential settings—are making significant improvements in water-use efficiency. These advances are also reducing our wastewater treatment burden and expense.
EPA's WaterSense program has developed a specification for bathroom sink faucets. In order to receive the WaterSense label, a bathroom faucet must have a maximum flow rate of no more than 1.5 gpm.
WaterSense has not yet developed a specification for kitchen sink faucets, but many manufacturers offer faucets with a flow rate of 1.5 gpm, 32% below the industry standard of 2.2 gpm. As kitchen sinks are often used to fill pots, a lower flow rate is not always optimal. Several manufacturers have introduced kitchen faucets with adjustable flow rates for convenience and water conservation.
GreenSpec lists products that dispense water efficiently, increase the energy efficiency of associated plumbing, or improve controllability of the water supply, such as foot pedal controls that help prevent long periods of running water. GreenSpec lists bathroom faucets that deliver water at a maximum of 1.0 gpm and kitchen faucets that offer adjustable flow rates or other benefits.
Many conservation efforts—in industrial, commercial, and residential settings—are making significant improvements in water-use efficiency. These advances are also reducing our wastewater treatment burden and expense. Products listed here dispense water efficiently or improve controllability of the water supply.
To qualify for GreenSpec, bathroom faucets must have a flow of 1.0 gallons per minute or less. Kitchen faucets may be up to 2.5 gallons per minute, but should be installed with foot- or other controls to prevent long periods of running.
WEc1: Water Use Reduction
WEc3: Water Use Reduction
WEc3.1-3.2: Water Use Reduction
WEp1: Water Use Reduction—20% Reduction
WEp1: Minimum Indoor Plumbing Fixture and Fitting Efficiency
WEp1: Water Use Reduction
Ratings and Commentary