APGA Participates in National Academy of Sciences Committee Meeting

By Stuart Saulters posted 14 days ago

On November 19 and 20, APGA staff attended a meeting conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS). The objective of this event was to kickoff a committee to peer review the analytical methods employed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in setting “standards regulations” for appliances. DOE sets these standards following procedures designated in the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), which requires various analyses to be completed to anticipate costs and benefits. There can be significant impacts on public natural gas utilities, including fuel switching, depending on how DOE completes the appliance rulemakings.

For the effort that just began, the NAS committee will specifically review the cost-benefit elements of the analyses. At the conclusion, they aim to provide findings and recommendations on how DOE can improve its technical processes. This week’s meeting was noteworthy, with presentations from DOE overviewing their analytical methods and discussions on three particular appliances that are the focus, one of which is furnaces. Along with this event, NAS asked for feedback on the composition of the committee, and APGA, with support from the Direct Use Task Group and Codes and Standards Committee, filed a comment suggesting representation from the gas utility industry be added. To see that input, click here.

As well, during the meeting, APGA made a statement encouraging the NAS committee to stay focused on the scope. Some of the background of the committee members causes concern that personal policy preference could be interjected and influence the recommendations. The focus of the study is to review the technical merits of DOE’s rulemaking processes, as they are statutorily mandated through EPCA. Personal policy opinions were mentioned during the meeting, including one statement about the need for American households to move to electric heat pumps. APGA staff felt it was important to speak up and ensure the focus of the committee was to review DOE’s processes, as they are legally obligated. To learn more on this study, click here to go to the NAS website.

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