Biden administration proposes new cost-effective energy efficiency standards for home ovens
WASHINGTON DC – The Biden administration, through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), today proposed new energy efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will save consumers billions a year on their energy bills. Today’s proposal is one of 100 energy efficiency actions the administration is taking this year to save the average family $100 a year. Under the proposed rule, unweathered gas furnaces and those used in mobile homes would be expected to achieve an annual fuel efficiency of 95%. These efficiency improvements would save consumers $1.9 billion annually and, over 30 years, reduce carbon emissions by 373 million metric tons and methane emissions by 5.1 million tons. that is the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
“By updating energy standards for many carbon-emitting appliances, such as home ovens, the Biden administration is working to save consumers money,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These efficiency measures not only reduce carbon and methane emissions, but also deliver huge material benefits to American households in the form of cleaner air, modernized technology and cheaper energy. .”
In addition to increasing the efficiency of gas furnaces, which account for about 15% of annual residential energy consumption in the United States, the Biden administration is also improving the accessibility and affordability of heat pumps, super efficient electrical equipment that can be used for heating and cooling. households. Last week, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to rapidly expand U.S. manufacturing of five critical clean energy technologies, including heat pumps. This DPA authorization will reduce reliance on adversaries like Russia for oil and gas and accelerate the installation of Made in America heat pumps in homes and other buildings. The proposed rule seeks comment on the decline in heat pump prices due to increased shipments expected from decarbonization policies and increased domestic supply of heat pumps from the DPA.
Achieving an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 95% (producing 95 British thermal units (BTUs) of heating for every 100 BTUs of natural gas consumed) would mean taking almost all the gas used by furnaces and turning it into heat supplied for life. space. Modern condensing furnaces, which use secondary heat exchangers to capture excess heat from furnace exhaust, make this standard achievable for every American home. Canada has already mandated the use of condensing heaters for home heating for over a decade.
If passed within the DOE’s proposed timeline, the new rule will go into effect in 2029. The DOE expects the new rule to save consumers $30.3 billion over 30 years. A consumer who installs a furnace that meets the suggested levels, to replace a non-condensing and inefficient furnace, will save $60 on their utility bills annually. In addition to 15% of annual residential energy consumption, residential gas furnaces account for approximately 3.4% of all household energy consumption in the United States in 2020.
The DOE’s Building Technologies Office implements minimum energy conservation standards for more than 60 categories of appliances and equipment. To learn more, visit the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program home page.