Biden administration places restrictions on gas-powered furnaces, says it will curb emissions

These new regulations would go into effect in 2028.

Published: October 1, 2023 11:36am

The Biden administration announced on Friday new restrictions on gas-powered furnaces in order to curb carbon emissions and residential energy use. 

According to the Department of Energy, these regulations will cut household utility costs by $1.5 billion annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

"At the direction of Congress, DOE is continuing to review and finalize energy standards for household appliances, such as residential furnaces, to lower costs for working families by reducing energy use and slashing harmful pollutants in homes across the nation," Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement

"Today’s measure, along with this Administration’s past and planned energy efficiency actions, underscores President Biden’s commitment to save Americans money and deliver healthier communities," she added.

These new regulations would go into effect in 2028 and would mandate furnaces to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95%. 

This requires manufacturers, within six years, to only sell furnaces that convert at least 95% of fuel into heat. As of now, the market standard AFUE for a residential furnace is 80%.

"There are some really technical reasons why this is such a concerning rule," Richard Meyer, the vice president of energy markets, analysis and standards at the American Gas Association told Fox Digital. "It has to do with the ability for consumers to be in compliance with this new efficiency standard." 

"They're going to have to, in many cases, install new equipment to exhaust gas out of their home. These higher efficiency units, or so-called condensing units — a lot of consumers have them in their home, but a lot of consumers don't. So, this rule would require additional retrofits for a lot of consumers," added Meyer. "And those retrofits can be extremely cost prohibitive."

Over the next year, according to Fox Digital, the Biden administration is also proceeding with rules that will impact dozens more appliances, "including pool pumps, battery chargers, ceiling fans and dehumidifiers."

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