When shop for new appliances, the EnergyGuide label provides a rough estimate of its estimated yearly electricity use along with operating cost. Developed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), this has proven to be an invaluable tool in helping consumers choose energy-efficiency appliances for their homes. Well, the Indian government recently announced plan to adopt a similar system – but with a focus on water-efficiency instead of energy.
A typical top-loading washing machine uses approximately 40-45 gallons of water per load. Given the fact that the average family washes 3-5 loads per week, that’s a ton of water being flushed down the drain. An efficient front-loading washing machine, on the other hand, may only use 15-20 gallons of water per load. Unfortunately, consumers are often left in the dark regarding their appliances’ water usage. This ultimately promotes a market in which there’s no incentive for manufacturers to develop and use water-efficient technology.
India’s Ministry of Water Resources hopes to improve the country’s appliance market by creating a new standard for water-efficient appliances. According to media reports, the Ministry of Water Resources contacted the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to propose a new system for labeling consumer appliances based on their water usage. The standard will begin with consumer-grade washing machines, dishwashers and a few other appliances, but officials say they plan to roll out the program to industrial sectors as well.
The new water-efficiency system will revolve around star ratings. Appliances that use less water will receive a higher star rating than appliances that use a lot of water. This simple concept will allow consumers to make smarter choices when shopping for new appliances.
The Ministry of Water Resources spoke out about the upcoming changes, saying that it’s time for the country to adopt a water-efficiency standard.
“Washing machine now comes with how many clothes it clean (like in kilograms) and electricity it consumes, so why don’t we have standards to fix consumption of water for appliances like dishwasher,” said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Water Resources. “Many industries like textile can recycle the water after effluent treatment and similar is the case of Thermal power plants where boilers can use recycled water,” he added.
It’s important to note that the new water-efficiency ratings will only affect appliances sold in India. There are no plans (as of yet) to introduce the system in the U.S. or other countries.