With Trump’s planned rollback, it could soon cost more energy to wash Thanksgiving dishes

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“People’s time is a nonrenewable resource.”

That’s the argument pushed by the Trump administration as it moves to roll back energy-efficiency requirements that slowed down dishwashers and other household appliances, according to one Energy Department official quoted this fall when the proposal was open to response.

The department has now said it will move ahead with the rule-making change that came about with prodding by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, known for its activism refuting climate-change statistics. The group supports a new class of “fast dishwashers” that can complete a cycle in an hour or less.

Other groups had chimed in, too.

“Dishwashers used to clean a full load of filthy dishes in under an hour. But now they take an average of two and a half hours and STILL leave dishes dirty!” reads one online petition to push the energy department to action. It was promoted by FreedomWorks, a libertarian arm of a group co-founded by the Koch brothers. The petition, titled “Make Dishwashers Great Again,” is just one part of a broad campaign coordinated by conservative organizations, some with ties, like the Kochs, to fossil-fuel companies.

The rule would exempt new dishwashers from the prior energy-efficiency standards. It’s not a small market: This year, there were nearly 9 million dishwashers sold in the U.S.

Environmental activists, including the Natural Resources Defense Council and many consumers — especially those most sensitive to steeper water and electricity bills — aren’t happy about the expected changes.

The new standards would also waive the water-efficiency requirements. Energy-efficient dishwashers use roughly half the water and energy of their counterparts of 20 years ago, according to the NRDC. And even the home-appliance lobby, mostly because they would have to engage in redesign and because they are adapting to market demands from environmentally-conscientious consumers, disagrees with the Energy Department moves.

Read: Trump rollback on light bulbs will cost consumers and hurt the environment, lawsuit says

Environmental and consumer groups also take issue with Energy Department and CEI suggestions that efficient dishwashers are only suited for lightly dirty dishes. Climate policy advocates Our Daily Planet notes today’s dishwashers have built-in sensors that detect just how dirty plates are, ensuring dishwashers take only as long as they need to get your dishes clean. What’s more, slower wash cycles have been created in part to meet market demand for quieter dishwashers and a gentler cycle that boosts the longevity of glassware and ceramics.

For now, there’s good news for any cleanup crew able to use this handy appliance on Thanksgiving— and everyday. According to one study at Germany’s University of Bonn, a dishwasher uses only half the energy (at least under existing U.S. requirements) and one-sixth of the water, plus less soap, than hand washing.

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