DOE Proposes Severe Consumer Gas Furnace Restrictions

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued the “pre-publication” version of its final consumer furnace rulemaking. The 575-page rule would be effective in late 2028 and eliminate non-condensing gas furnaces. The rule will remain in “pre-publication” until at least November 13th.

Some highlights of note on the Final Rulemaking include:

  • The Final Rule establishes an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of 95 nationwide, which a non-condensing furnace cannot achieve.
  • The DOE acknowledges that 58.4% of current furnace shipments do not meet the standard established in the Final Rule.
  • The DOE acknowledges that 18.7% of consumers would experience a net added cost for a new furnace as a result of the new standards, and the real cost of installing a new non-condensing furnace could be as high as $6,336.
  • In the Final Rule, the DOE chose not to modify their emissions analysis to distinguish between natural gas and propane emissions, despite receiving a comment highlighting that propane emits lower carbon dioxide levels compared to natural gas.
  • The DOE considered regionalizing the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, consistent with the regional requirements on furnaces from ENERGY STAR, but chose a nationwide standard despite different product designs for different regions and heating needs.

Multiple industry groups (including natural gas and propane interests) will be engaged in responding/opposing the publication of the Final Rule.