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Congress Passes Bill To Create Uniform Water Heater Energy Efficiency Ratings, Testing Methodology; Measure Goes To President

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Congress has passed legislation establishing a uniform energy efficiency descriptor that applies to all residential water heaters sold in the U. S.  The measure now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The bill, also known as the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (H. R. 6582) was passed unanimously in the Senate yesterday.  The legislation was approved overwhelmingly by a 398-2 vote earlier this week in the House of Representatives.

In addition to applying a consistent rating system for all water heaters, the bill will require the Department of Energy to develop a test method to accurately determine the descriptor for all types of water heaters including new advanced technologies introduced over the last several years.

"Passage of this legislation will help reduce the confusion that consumers face when attempting to determine the energy efficiency of the water heater they intend to purchase," Paul W. Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation, commented.  "Once the bill becomes law, consumers will be able to make more informed decisions by comparing the efficiency of the entire range of water heaters that are on the market.  It will make it easier for them to obtain available incentives that are based on an appliance's energy efficiency."

"It's also important to understand this legislation supports our national clean energy goals by promoting the use of high efficiency water heaters that reduce energy consumption and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Jones continued.

A. O. Smith was a member of a coalition of affected industry representatives, leading energy advocate groups, and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) that worked with members of Congress on the legislation.

A bipartisan group of senators and representatives were instrumental in securing passage of the legislation.

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