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The California Energy Commission (CEC) took emergency action to ensure the toilets, urinals and faucets sold in the state will be the most water-efficient in the country.

The new standards for kitchen and bathroom faucets, urinals and toilets should reduce California water use by more than 100 billion gallons of water per year, once the current stock of products is turned over. The state expects to save 10 billion gallons in the first year.

The standards are more efficient than those set by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program. For example, next year, all urinals sold in California will use 1 pint of water or less for each flush (gpf); the old standard was 1 gallon per flush and WaterSense is 0.5 gpf. Bathroom faucets will use no more than 1.2 gallons of water per minute (gpm); the old standard was 2.2 gpm and WaterSense is 1.5 gpm.

The CEC is working on a rebate program to make the purchase of high-efficiency appliances more affordable for residents.

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