Biden Energy Dept proposes an energy-efficient furnace plan

Biden Energy Dept proposes an energy-efficient furnace plan

President Biden’s Department of Energy has proposed a new rule that would require homeowners who want to buy a new stove to install one that is 95 percent energy-efficient within the next seven years.

The new rule would require residential gas-fired stoves to be condensing gas stoves, reusing gas and water vapor that normal non-condensing stoves vent to the atmosphere. By 2029, all gas burners on the market would have to be converted.

The rule can now be publicly commented on for the next 60 days before its final examination in the federal register.

According to a 2017 public comment by the American Gas Association, condensing stoves cost about $350 more than non-condensing stoves when President Obama tried to implement a similar rule. Condensation models also cost about $1,500 to $2,200 to install.

According to HomeAdvisor, the current national average cost to replace a stove, including materials and labor, is $4,671.

The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that the new stoves will save homes about $60 a year, a figure that will total $30.3 billion over the next 30 years. It was also estimated that the rule would eliminate more than 360 million tons of carbon emissions.

President Biden’s Department of Energy has proposed a new rule that would require homeowners who want to buy a new stove to install one that is 95 percent energy-efficient within the next seven years

“By updating energy standards for many carbon-emitting appliances, such as domestic stoves, the Biden administration is working to save consumers money,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement.

Older furnaces currently have a fuel efficiency rate of around 56 percent, according to the DOE. The new rule would be the first significant update to furnace efficiency standards in decades.

The Obama-era proposal would have called for stoves to be 92 percent efficient, although the rule never materialized. One of former President Trump’s final acts was a January 2021 regulation mandating energy efficiency standards to allow non-condensing stoves to remain on the market.

The new rule comes after Granholm suggested on Tuesday electric cars are a solution to sky-high gas prices.

“When you have filled up your electric car [electric vehicle] and you’ve got gas in your gas tank, you would save $60 per tank of gas if you went electric instead of gas, but it’s a very compelling case, but again we want to bring the price down when you buy it,” Granholm said. the former governor of Michigan said.

Since taking office, Biden has revived a number of Obama-era regulations that were reversed by Trump, such as banning free-flowing showerheads or fast-flush dishwashers.

Homeowners also have the option of purchasing electric stoves, which are cheaper than condensing stoves but more expensive than non-condensing stoves.

Energy experts are speculating that the move could prompt a mass of homeowners to do just that. But the climate change benefits of electric furnaces are minimal when the electricity that drives them often comes from natural gas anyway.

Liberal cities like New York and Berkeley have banned gas connections in new buildings altogether, arguing that direct consumer combustion of natural gas is bad for the environment.

The American Gas Association said it is reviewing the new rule and will “strongly object” if it harms the natural gas industry.

“AGA will carefully review every aspect of this proposed rule and if it is yet another attempt to put the natural gas industry out of business, we will vigorously object,” said Karen Harbert, AGA’s president and CEO, in a statement. “At this moment, when natural gas is essential to the stability of our country and the world, imposing huge costs on Americans on a day-to-day basis is wrong at best.”

Harbert also said older households, particularly in low-income areas, may not be able to meet the more expensive venting requirements required for a condensing stove.

With fuel and energy prices skyrocketing, the President was forced to halt his attack on the oil and gas industry and refocus his efforts on promoting energy-efficient heating and electricity.

A worker installs a new Carrier natural gas furnace at a residential home in Spanish Fork, Utah, Tuesday, October 19, 2021

A worker installs a new Carrier natural gas furnace at a residential home in Spanish Fork, Utah, Tuesday, October 19, 2021

At the risk of appearing weak against China, Biden suspended tariffs on solar panels last week. He also invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up domestic manufacturing of heat pumps, an action that would still require congressional funding to have any tangible impact. The White House plans to meet with lawmakers this week to discuss two bills that would help fund the manufacture of domestic heat pumps, according to CNN.

The DPA approval also directs funding to increase domestic production of solar panels, green hydrogen technology, building insulation and grid components such as transformers.