Public gas utilities supply efficient, affordable, and reliable energy, and the consumers that benefit from access to this energy should be free to choose what appliance best fits their needs. As such, APGA was happy to see that on February 1, Senator Ted Cruz (TX) along with more than two dozen of his colleagues introduced a resolution to block the Biden Administration’s rule that would “ban” certain gas furnaces. Representatives Fischbach (MN) and Fallon (TX) took similar action in the House. If passed in both chambers of Congress and signed by the President, the resolution would walk back the Furnace Rule that was announced at the end of 2023. This regulation establishes a 95% annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) standard for furnaces, which can only be met by condensing furnaces, effectively banning non-condensing furnaces that have been in millions of American homes for a generation or more. If houses currently have a non-condensing furnace, homeowners will have to either make costly renovations or switch to electric alternatives when it comes time to replace their furnace. Learn more about the rule here.
APGA believes that in promulgating this rulemaking, the Department of Energy (DOE) has failed to present transparent analysis and sufficient economic justification of this rule. APGA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Stuart Saulters, supported Senator Cruz’s and Representative Fischbach’s staffs in the release of the resolutions and offered a statement in support of the language.
“APGA appreciates Senator Cruz taking action to roll back a greatly flawed Department of Energy (DOE) rulemaking that finalized a new minimum efficiency standard for residential gas furnaces. The rule wrongfully drives costly fuel switching, as it bans a popular appliance technology — non-condensing furnaces — from the market. Without access to this technology, many consumers will be forced to replace their furnaces with costly retrofits, if even possible, or switch to electric alternatives. This policy is especially concerning for vulnerable, underserved communities, potentially forcing them to shift to electric furnaces, which are less affordable and efficient than the direct use of natural gas.” Read more here.
APGA staff will continue to support efforts in both chambers of Congress to ensure that Americans are free to choose what appliances best fit their diverse needs. APGA staff are also closely monitoring and engaging on other legislation that would prevent DOE from moving forward with rulemakings that would set unjustified minimum energy efficiency standards for other gas-fueled appliances. Read more about APGA’s appliance efficiency advocacy priority, here.
For questions on this article, please contact Joshua St.Pierre of APGA staff by phone at 202-407-0015 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.