Public Comment Period Open for Revised EPA WaterSense Homes Program

Filed in Sustainability & Green Building by on May 20, 2019 2 Comments

This post has been updated.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense Labeled Homes program has served as a voluntary, above-code market differentiator for builders and home owners for a decade. WaterSense initiated work to revise the program in 2018. In April 2019, EPA published the WaterSense Draft Specification for Homes, Version 2.0, to further promote residential water efficiency and enable market transformation in home construction.

The draft specification continues to apply to both single-family homes and multifamily buildings. EPA will require homes that earn the WaterSense label to use WaterSense-certified fixtures, demonstrate an absence of leaks and be at least 30% more water efficient than a comparable new home (based on national standards). Outdoor water conservation and hot water distribution thresholds will no longer be mandatory, but are recognized as best practices that builders may use toward achieving the minimum 30% improvement in whole-house efficiency.

As currently drafted, builders will continue to partner with EPA to participate in the program. EPA-approved Home Certification Organizations (HCOs) will administer the program, train verifiers, provide quality assurance and issue certifications. Each HCO will certify to its specific WaterSense Approved Certification Method (WACM).

EPA has developed a fact sheet summarizing the proposed changes. Submit comments and suggestions on the draft specification and other supporting documents by the extended deadline of June 18 directly to EPA at

For more information about NAHB’s sustainable and green building programs, contact Program Manager Michelle Diller.

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Comments (2)

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  1. NAHB Now says:

    Please note that EPA has extended the comment period to June 18, 2019. Please send any comments or suggestions to If you have any questions about the draft specification, please contact the WaterSense Helpline at (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) or

  2. I’m still trying to figure out how a ‘normally open’ thermostatic valves are allowed between hot and cold water supply lines under sinks. When this valve is open, using cold water siphons water through these valves from the hot water line. Thereby, placing demand on the water heater, even when there is only a cold water demand. How is that permitted / acceptable?

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