Do The Regulators At DOE And The EPA Ever Use ANY Appliances

This time around it’s dishwashers.

WASHINGTON, DC (July 16, 2015)— New energy and water efficiency regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) would result in dishwasher performance that is unacceptable to consumers, essentially turning back the clock to the days of hand-washing dishes. The proposed standards, which will become effective in January 2019, would require dishwashers to cut energy use by 24% and water use by 38%, leaving just 3.1 gallons of water to clean an entire load of dishes in a normal wash cycle.   This will force handwashing and repeat cycles, undermining the energy and water savings accumulated from the three previous standards, and will trigger enormous consumer dissatisfaction.

Home appliance manufacturers recently completed several rounds of testing to the proposed standards. The testing revealed a build-up of film, fats and grease on dishes at the end of the cycle. As a result of the proposed standards, it is highly likely that consumers will pre-wash dishes or choose to repeat dishwasher cycles, thereby erasing any energy or water savings.

The Clean Dishes Challenge: Battle of the Dishwasher Detergents

The fact is that it’s amazing how much doesn’t work, or works poorly because of the rules that bureaucrats come up with. Yet time and again the bureaucrat’s solution is always more cowbell.  For some reason they think that because something may have worked before, it will always work as long as you just do it more. The fact is that no matter what you do, that 24% energy “savings”  and 38% less water use are going to have to come from somewhere.  My guess is that it will com from making dishwashers that do a very lousy job of actually washing dishes or are terribly expensive.

There’s only so much you can do.  24% less electricity means that you will have to use a smaller motor, a smaller heating element, or both.  You might have to use different heating elements or motors that work at different times during the cycle.  More than likely you will have to use complicated electronics to run it all.  Even when you are all done with meeting the mandate, you will end up with a machine that just doesn’t work very well. Which also costs more and has to be serviced more often to boot.  How much savings to you get it the reliability is halved and the truck has to keep coming out for service calls. That’s the problem with those one dimensional rules.  They tend to cost more in compliance than they actually save.

To say nothing as to how poorly the rules are applied, as shown by these phony “Energy Star” products.

Of course the endless quest for false efficiencies does have it’s costs. Somehow the bureaucrats never seem to have to pay those costs in their lives, or at least aren’t effected enough by the pain to notice.  I have to wonder if whoever came up with the 1 gallon toilet ever flushes. Does the energy star guy never have to go shopping for appliances and when he  home find out that it barely works.  This guy here seems to be free at giving advice, but I would like to see his real numbers.

That means families can save money by replacing old appliances with newer, more energy-efficient models, says Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit coalition that promotes energy efficiency.

For those on a tight budget, there are ways to cushion the cost of new appliances.

“You want to be smart and save money, you buy an energy-efficient appliance,” Callahan says….

A new refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, water heater or other appliance is a major expense. Models that use less energy should cost less to operate than comparable models that aren’t energy-efficient.

Tie together the upfront and operating costs, and you get a conundrum: Do energy-efficient appliances save enough over time to recoup the purchase price?

With payback periods more often measured in years than months, homeowners need to do some research rather than assume the savings will or won’t be significant.

“In many instances,” Callahan says, “it will make a difference.”

Research is also essential to avoid what Callahan characterizes as “missteps” by manufacturers in the marketplace — appliances that save energy but don’t work very well.

The problem with avoiding misteps is that with government mandated applinaces it tends to be the worst of a bad lot. Which adds up very fast and the saving tend to be more ephemeral than the government experts would have you believe. I suppose it helps to be a true believer and not be aware of the downsides.

Energy efficient, green, or Energy Star appliances that don’t work well?

Of course there are some mandated thing that are beyond awful and reaching into downright dangerous.  Who would have thought that the lowly gas can would make such a perfect example of how government regulation can be dangerous to your health.

Now, back in the days when I used to work in the hardware store I saw the beginnings of this as each shipment of gas cans came in ever more screwed up. Still they were usable, barely. The problem is that the proper use of said can and the attempt to eliminate the risk of any gasoline leakage are antithetical. Frankly the attempt to prevent spillage makes spillage more likely.

An ominous regulatory announcement from the EPA came in 2007: “Starting with containers manufactured in 2009… it is expected that the new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”

The government never said “no vents.” It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last three years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically. There are other silly things now, too, but the biggest problem is that they do not do well what cans are supposed to do.

And don’t tell me about spillage. It is far more likely to spill when the gas is gurgling out in various uneven ways, when one spout has to both pour and suck in air. That’s when the lawn mower tank becomes suddenly full without warning, when you are shifting the can this way and that just to get the stuff out.

There’s also the problem of the exploding can. On hot days, the plastic models to which this regulation applies can blow up like balloons. When you release the top, gas flies everywhere, including possibly on a hot engine. Then the trouble really begins.

Never heard of this rule? You will know about it if you go to the local store. Most people buy one or two of these items in the course of a lifetime, so you might otherwise have not encountered this outrage.

Look I’ve used gas cans all my life and in my experience, you spill very little from the old spouted style cans, or for that matter a can with no spout as long as it’s vented.  it just takes a little practice.  I’ve also never seen that gasoline spillage was that big a deal because the two or three ounces that you spill evaporates or you wipe it up.

Those new cans actually increase spillage because your trying to work the springy thing that closes the spout, gauge the flow into a gas tank that is much smaller than the can, hold a can that can be heavy when your trying to swing it around and actually get the gas too pour.  Then, of course, there’s problem of gas spouting out all over everything and oh yes, trapped gas vapors in the can. It’s a classic case of “solving” a problem that isn’t really significant and in the process creating a whole new set of potentially very bad new problems.

Of course considering the scale of some of the EPA’s screw-ups a few thousand exploding gas cans is a trivial issue.  After all once you drop toxic metal waste into the water system for a large part of the country  and aren’t held accountable for it what difference does anything anyone say about the things that don’t work make.


Some NGO drums up a non problem and a bad solution, the idiots in Congress pass a law and everybody’s going to get stuck with the bill on this one.

I don’t think that people understand just how expensive traceability is.  And what’s going to happen when it’s required for every product. This new rule will only complicate product vendor and supply chain requirements, waste engineering time, stifle innovation, hurt small businesses and make everything made here in the US more expensive.  All with having no effect on the bad actors in Africa whatsoever.  What this rule will do is create yet more red tape for already overburdened American Companies.


Of course there’s also that good old fashioned cronyism to screw things up. Patents expiring on refrigerants.  Oh no, they suddenly become dangerous greenhouse gasses.  They must be replaced with new refrigerants, that guess what, don’t work as well as the old ones and are dangerous and flammable to boot.  Somewhere I think that we’ve been down this road before.  Oh, yes last time it was an ozone hole in Antarctic where there were no refrigerants.

Gina McCarthy wrote an op-ed for the guardian last year in which she emphasized the EPA’s attack on air conditioning. The title of the article is all you need to know – Potent greenhouse gases should have no place in our air conditioning units. 

Refrigeration, and insulation are also on the hit list because they contain HFCs (Hydrofluorocarbons). Without any proof, she’s declared them “hundreds or thousands” of times more damaging than CO2. “Hundreds…thousands”, no difference to her.

At the international meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Dubai, all parties agreed on a “Dubai Pathway” for controlling climate-change-inducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) worldwide, which the TPP will be used to foster. HFCs are chemicals used in air conditioning, refrigeration, foams and aerosols as replacements for many ozone-depleting substances that are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol.

We are now looking for “global laws,” according to McCarthy.

McCarthy wrote: President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is aimed at reducing HFC emissions both at home and through international leadership. Over the past year, the EPA has completed four separate actions that both expand “the list of safer alternatives to HFCs and prohibit them from certain uses in the refrigeration air conditioning, foam, and aerosol sectors where safer alternatives such as hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), hydrocarbons and lower-polluting blends are available.”

Obama Tells the World Yet Again That He’s Going After Air Conditioning

To say nothing of higher costs for American consumers that are going to get stuck with the bill.  For some strange reason, it’s always the poor anonymous  consumer that always gets stuck with the endless higher costs in the name of “protection.”   I thought “protection” was a racket.  Which it is apparent that the government has become.  All those programs to “protect” us have become the tools the government uses to extort ever more of our livelihood for feeding the endless numbers of takers at every level.

For more on the dysfunctional economy click Here or on the tag below.


  1. lobo314 · May 1, 2016

    And this boys and girls is why the toilets in this house are old. not as old as me but about half as old or older. Dishwasher? HAH. Dishwasher broke when I was a kid. Been washing by hand ever since. My mower? bout 20yrs old or so. Two of my family’s cars? The same. My washer and dryer? eh don’t know how old they are actually . about 15yrs or so at at a guess. Rebuilds that were bought for 200 bucks total from a guy that finds machines people are getting rid of and rebuilds them. for the cost of the parts. which are generally not all that bad at all. maybe 20 bucks in a lot of cases? they are the old style top and front loader respectively with capability to run huge loads. My tv in the front room? eh…10yrs give or take. I will keep the old bitch going as long as I can with part replacement [mainly the bulb every 12-24months] A bulb I can get online for 25 bucks and swap out myself in 5 mins.

    Part of it is instant gratification syndrome but not talking about that as it’ll start a long rant


  2. JP Kalishek · May 1, 2016

    Best dishwasher I have used was an old one that came out of a house being renovated. It was even one of the quietest ones too. Then the homeowner, who had some odd love of GE changed it out for a newer model gotten cheap from someone who wrote it off to flood damage and the newer modern “ultra quiet” “efficient” model took two runs to wash anything and was noisy enough you couldn’t sleep through the racket.
    I’ve got a cheap washer, and it works alright, but I am moving later this week and will check the one installed in the house I am buying before thinking of replacement. It looks older, and if it works, I’ll bet it works better.
    Except for Refrigeration, the older stuff is starting to work better than new. With refrigeration, they are just adding more insulation, and many are now going back to putting the compressor unit back on top so the heat doesn’t work its way up through the cooled areas.. I will need to buy a fridge for the house.


  3. Robert Weimer · May 1, 2016

    One thing that instantly made all diswashers less capable was the elimination of Trisodium Phosphate from dishwasher detergent. With TSP, all these diswhashers would be at least adequate.

    Damn you, Spokane.


  4. penneyvanderbilt · May 2, 2016

    Reblogged this on KCJones.


  5. Pingback: The Bookworm Beat 5/2/16 — the “Hell in a hand basket” edition and open thread
  6. WhiteKnightLeo #0368 · May 4, 2016

    Our new washer/dryer sucks, especially the dryer. If I don’t put it on 90 minutes, nothing gets dry.


  7. Pingback: All regulations have obvious costs and hidden costs « Quotulatiousness

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