Residential furnaces and commercial water heaters; Environmental protection (ICS 13.020), Ventilators. Fans. Air-conditioners (ICS 23.120), Heat pumps (ICS 27.080)
Energy Conservation Program for Appliance Standards: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces and Commercial Water Heaters
On 15 January 2021, the Department of Energy (DOE or Department) published a final interpretive rule in the Federal Register determining that, in the context of residential furnaces, commercial water heaters, and similarly-situated products or equipment, use of non-condensing technology (and associated venting) constitutes a performance-related "feature" under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended (EPCA), that cannot be eliminated through adoption of an energy conservation standard. DOE deems it prudent to revisit its interpretation. For the reasons stated in this document, the Department proposes to return to its previous and long-standing interpretation (in effect prior to the 15 January 2021 final interpretive rule), under which the technology used to supply heated air or hot water is not a performance-related "feature" that provides a distinct consumer utility under EPCA. DOE requests comment on its proposed interpretation. Once DOE has arrived at a final interpretation, the Department plans to again evaluate whether amended energy conservation standards would result in significant savings of energy, be technologically feasible, and be economically justified, consistent with its interpretation.
DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this proposed interpretive rule no later than 27 September 2021.