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Congress Expresses Concern over DOE HVAC Ruling

In early June, Congress sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy expressing concern over the proposed rulemaking for residential furnaces. While the letter stated that they support energy efficiency, Congress is worried that the 92% standard proposed in the rule will significantly increase the cost of natural gas to consumers forcing them to switch to less efficient alternatives.

By setting a nationwide energy-efficiency standard that precludes a consumer from choosing to install a non-condensing furnace, the DOE will be forcing many homeowners either to abandon the use of natural gas to heat their homes or to pay substantially more for the installation of a furnace that meets the new standard, explains Congress.

This will have a major impact on the ability of low- and fixed-income families to replace an aging furnace with the fuel of their choice. The letter goes on to urge the DOE to avoid such an “either-or” approach to the standard and establish separate product classes for condensing and non-condensing  furnaces, each with its own efficiency standard.

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