The Biden administration may soon finalize regulations on gas-powered home furnaces, restricting the ability of consumers to purchase units found to be outside of the administration's greenhouse gas emissions goals within the next few months.
The agency could soon finalize the rules governing residential gas furnaces, which more than half of American households use for space heating.
As a part of the proposed regulations, furnaces would be required to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95 percent by 2029, indicating that manufacturers would only be able to sell furnaces that convert at least 95 percent of fuel into heat within the next six years. Currently, 80 percent AFUE is the industry standard for residential furnaces.
Noncondensing gas furnaces, which are typically less efficient but less expensive, would be primarily removed from the market as a result of the stringent AFUE requirements. However, after the implementation of the rule, consumers who replace their noncondensing furnaces with condensing furnaces are likely to incur substantial installation costs.
"By updating energy standards for many carbon-emitting appliances, such as home furnaces, the Biden administration is working to save consumers money," Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said when the proposed changes were introduced.
Debate Over Gas AppliancesAs the debate over gas appliances rages on, environmentalists have argued that electrification, the prohibition of natural gas connections, and the implementation of stringent energy efficiency standards could accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Agen also contended that the proposed rule violates the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) by potentially making gas cooktops unavailable in the market. He also argued that the administration exhibited a predetermined bias against gas burners compared to electric ones.
According to Agen, the procedures used by testers were inherently biased, including the use of different water quantities, skewing the results against high-input rate burners commonly found in gas cooktops.
House at OddsHouse Republicans have looked to take on appliance regulation as a way of attempting to exert authority over the administrative state, The Epoch Times reported.
During a June 5 House Rules Committee hearing, Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said, "The Constitution articulates where the laws are made. It's here in Congress."
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.) had a different take, saying the proposals by Republicans attempting to overturn the Biden administration's regulations on appliances and others were a demonstration of how the Republican majority "once again prioritizes right-wing culture wars over the American people."
Two of the four bills the committee took up during the hearing concerned regulations for gas appliances.
The Department of Energy didn't respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.