PMI urges incentives to replace older plumbing

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Rolling Meadows, Ill. —Plumbing Manufacturers International ( (PMI) continues to work with the state of California to mitigate the impact of the drought. PMI’s members are working diligently to develop showerheads and bathroom faucets meeting both the new water-efficient standards and consumer satisfaction after having provided input on these standards to the California Energy Commission over the past several months and having supported the standards as they were considered and adopted on August 12.

While recognizing that lower product flow rates will help save water, PMI reemphasizes that even more significant water savings can be accomplished through strong incentives to replace older plumbing products currently in use with water-efficient products. PMI urges Governor Jerry Brown to continue the development and implementation of a statewide rebate program providing monetary incentives for the purchase of water-efficient toilets, showerheads, bathroom faucets, and other plumbing products.

Consumers and businesses have been slow to purchase and install WaterSense products
No matter how efficient a plumbing product is, it cannot save water sitting on an inventory shelf. For example, the WaterSense program was introduced in 2006 to encourage the use of water-efficient plumbing products. Yet, consumers and businesses in drought-stricken states have been slow to purchase and install WaterSense toilets, showerheads and bathroom faucets, despite the urgent need to save water, according to a study conducted by GMP Research, Inc., and commissioned by Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI).

The GMP Research/PMI study found that only 5.5 percent of California’s 33.5 million installed residential and commercial toilets are high-efficiency toilets using 1.28 gallons per flush – the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® standard for toilets evaluated to be 20 percent more water-efficient than other plumbing products meeting federal standards. Despite the drought conditions in California, only 21.1 percent of bathroom faucets there meet the WaterSense standard of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm) and 23.9 percent of showerheads meet the WaterSense standard of 2.0 gpm.

“With droughts beginning to affect more regions of the U.S., now is the time to create stronger rebates and incentives for consumers and businesses to purchase and install water-efficient plumbing products,” said Barbara C. Higgens, PMI CEO and executive director. “The future is now – a time when steps to sustain an ever-precious resource must be taken. As good stewards of the environment, PMI wants everyone to know that using water-efficient plumbing products is an immediate action that can be taken to save water. There have been tremendous advancements in the technology and efficacy of plumbing products. Just as you wouldn’t use a 20-year-old cell phone, it doesn’t make sense to use 20-year-old plumbing technology. Start saving more water today.”

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