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June 13 (news release) -- DOE’s Proposed Rule for Gas Furnaces Will Save Consumers Billions on Annual Energy Bills, Reduce Emissions and Build on Actions to Support Heat Pump Deployment

Under the proposed rule, non-weatherized gas furnaces and those used in mobile homes would be required to achieve an annual fuel utilization 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 — the equivalent of what 61 million homes emit each year.
 
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 of the gas used by the furnaces and turning it into heat provided to the living space. Modern condensing furnaces, which use a secondary heat exchangers to capture excess heat from the furnace’s exhaust gases, make this standard achievable for every American home. Canada has already made the use of condensing furnaces mandatory for residential heating for over a decade.

If adopted within DOE’s proposed timeframe, the new rule will come into effect in 2029. DOE expects the new rule to save consumers a cumulative $30.3 billion over 30 years. A consumer that installs a furnace meeting the proposed levels, in order to replace a non-condensing, inefficient furnace, will save $60 on their utility bills annually. In addition to 15% of annual residential energy use, residential gas furnaces account for approximately 3.4% of all domestic energy use in the United States as of 2020.

News release: https://www.energy.gov/articles/biden-administration-proposes-new-cost-saving-energy-efficiency-standards-home-furnaces
Proposed rule: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-13108
 
Meeting:  DOE will hold a public meeting via webinar on Wednesday, August 3, 2022, from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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