DOE Issues Proposed Interpretive Rule in Response to Petition Submitted by APGA and others

By Dave Schryver posted 4 days ago

  
On July 2, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a proposed interpretive rule in response to a petition submitted to DOE by APGA and other gas industry stakeholders. The petition, submitted last June, requested a legal interpretation that the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) does not authorize the adoption of efficiency standards that would limit the market for fuel gas vented appliances or equipment to condensing products. In its proposed interpretive rule, DOE “partially grants the petition by issuing an interpretation that non-condensing operation is a product feature and that no DOE rulemaking may prescribe a standard that would make that feature unavailable. DOE’s proposal also states that the “proposed change would ensure that DOE will not impede energy affordability, particularly for persons with low incomes, by mandating high-cost condensing products and installations.”

In response to the release of this proposal, APGA sent out a press release applauding DOE for its action. APGA also reiterated its concern that previously proposed rules by DOE suggesting the replacement of non-condensing appliances with condensing appliances would ultimately undermine efficiency goals while significantly increasing consumer costs. In the press release, APGA also stated that “We are very pleased that DOE expressly recognizes that eliminating non-condensing furnaces could impose costly installations on consumers, require physical changes to homes and businesses, and limit consumer choice in regards to fuel type. It is a rare and welcome occurrence when a federal agency clearly states it ‘seeks neither to determine winners and losers in the marketplace nor limit consumer choice.’ All American energy consumers should welcome and celebrate DOE’s approach and its findings in this proposal.”

Once the proposed rule is printed in the federal register, there will be a 60-day comment period. A copy of APGA’s press release is available on www.apga.org.

For questions on this article, please contact Dave Schryver of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at dschryver@apga.org.
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