For years, consumers have complained about slower, noisier dishwashers that produce dirtier dishes, the result of tighter federal efficiency regulations that the Trump administration is now seeking to unload. The Energy Department last month proposed a rule to create a new dishwasher product class that would finish a normal cycle in an hour or less by using less stringent energy standards than permitted under the current rules. Sam Kazman, general counsel of the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, which led the charge for the regulatory clean-up, said the ever-tighter restrictions on energy and water have produced machines that take twice as long without getting dishes as scrubbed as earlier models. “Basically, these dishwashers have turned into crap, and it is solely the result of the Department of Energy’s so-called efficiency regulations,” said Mr. Kazman. He cited data from Consumer Reports showing that average wash times have increased from about 70 minutes in 1983 to 140 minutes in 2018 as manufacturers slow down the cycles to “compensate for the negative impact on cleaning performance,” as the department acknowledged in 2016. “The result has been ever longer and longer cycle times,” said Mr. Kazman. “Back in the late ‘70s, they were reporting one-hour times, not just for cleaning but for drying as well. Now it typically takes over two hours, in some cases two-and-a-half hours, and the dishes come out neither very clean nor very dry.”
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