Action Urged on Low-Flow Toilets

Action Urged on Low-Flow Toilets

Upper Marlboro, MD The building industry has applauded the energy and resource conservation goals set by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, but says that further action is needed in developing a standard governing the performance of low-flow toilets.

In a recent letter to the DOE, officials from the National Association of Home Builders Research Center here said that they are "concerned" that efforts to improve energy efficiency in appliances and to reduce water consumption by toilets have yet to be accompanied by performance standards and an achievable phase-in schedule.

The lack of standards, warned the Research Center, could ultimately "defeat the purpose" of the DOE's conservation goals.

"Research Center testing clearly demonstrates that a wide variation exists in the performance of low-flow toilets, and many models are not nearly as effective as their predecessors," said Research Center president Liza Bowles.

In addition, Bowles said, seven years after the implementation of a DOE rule that ultimately mandated the use of low-flow toilets, "there still exists no standard that adequately addresses the performance of the products that consumers are required to use, and that are on the market today.

"We are concerned that well-intentioned efforts to conserve energy and water will frustrate consumers, builders (and remodelers), who often bear the brunt of consumer criticism," Bowles said.