June 14 -- The U.S. Department of Energy (“DOE” or “the Department”) is initiating an effort to evaluate the potential for energy conservation standards for consumer miscellaneous gas products. This request for information (“RFI”) solicits information from the public to help DOE determine whether potential standards for miscellaneous gas products would result in significant energy savings and whether such standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, information which will prove useful in the event DOE moves forward with a final coverage determination.
As part of this RFI and to aid in the Department's evaluation, DOE seeks comment on the market for these products and technologies to improve their energy efficiency or reduce their energy consumption. DOE also welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this document (including topics not specifically raised), as well as the submission of data and other relevant information. Written comments and information are requested and will be accepted on or before July 14, 2022.
DOE must follow specific statutory criteria for prescribing new or amended energy conservation standards for covered products. Any new or amended standard for a covered product must be designed to achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency that the Secretary of Energy determines is technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(A) and (3)(B)) Furthermore, DOE may not adopt any standard that would not result in the significant conservation of energy. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3))
Moreover, DOE may not prescribe a standard: (1) for certain products if no test procedure has been established for the product, or (2) if DOE determines by rule that the standard is not technologically feasible or economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(3)(A)-(B)) In deciding whether a proposed standard is economically justified, DOE must determine whether the benefits of the standard exceed its burdens. (42 U.S.C. 6295(o)(2)(B)(i)) DOE must make this determination after receiving views and comments on the proposed standard, and by considering, to the greatest extent practicable, the following seven factors:
(1) The economic impact of the standard on the manufacturers and consumers of the products subject to the standard;
(2) The savings in operating costs throughout the estimated average life of the covered products in the type (or class) compared to any increase in the price, initial charges, or maintenance expenses for the covered products that are likely to result from the standard;
(3) The total projected amount of energy (or as applicable, water) savings likely to result directly from the standard;
(4) Any lessening of the utility or the performance of the products likely to result from the standard;
(5) The impact of any lessening of competition, as determined in writing by the Attorney General, that is likely to result from the standard;
(6) The need for national energy and water conservation; and
(7) Other factors the Secretary of Energy considers relevant.
As detailed throughout this RFI, DOE is publishing this document seeking input and data from interested parties to aid in the development of the technical analyses on which DOE would ultimately rely to determine whether (and if so, how) to adopt energy conservation standards for consumer MGPs.