New Rule Allows DOE To Once Again Consider Increased Appliance Energy Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy released a new rule on Tuesday that revokes a rule finalized during the Trump Administration.

Essentially, the Trump rule barred the Department of Energy from using different techniques in appliance designs to increase efficiency, such as venting changes.

As a result, DOE could not proceed with a rulemaking to increase efficiency of gas appliances.

In the new rule, DOE will allow a broader look at ways to improve the efficiency of appliances and be able to consider ways to improve the efficiency of appliances that may be cost effective, and thus increase the minimum AFUE for home heating appliances.

This may result in the need to redesign home appliances in the future. However, this is really just the first step in that effort, and whether and how aggressively DOE will move is undetermined.

In the earlier rulemaking, DOE did not include oil heat equipment in the improved standard.

Natural gas industry representatives are disappointed by the administration’s decision to disregard the difference between condensing and non-condensing appliances saying that doing so would impose high installation costs, require physical changes to homes and businesses and limit consumer choice with regards to fuel type.

EMA will continue to watch this area to ensure that equipment changes are reasonable and achievable by the industry.

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