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DOE Issues Response To Gas Industry Petition
August 9, 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice in response to an October 18, 2018, petition (Gas Industry Petition) requesting DOE to issue an interpretive rule and to withdraw related, previously published proposals. DOE has decided to partially grant the request for an interpretive rule and deny the petitioners’ request to withdraw its earlier proposed rules for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters.

DOE is issuing the proposed interpretive rule to provide the public additional information about its interpretation of the “features” provision in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), in the context of condensing vs. non-condensing furnaces and water heaters, as informed by public comments. This notice of proposed rulemaking partially grants the petition by issuing an interpretation that non-condensing operation is a product feature, and that no DOE rulemaking may prescribe a standard that would make that feature unavailable. However, DOE notes that this interpretation only applies to non-condensing technologies, with respect to residential products, non-ASHRAE commercial products, and ASHRAE products for which DOE sets standards that exceed the levels set forth in ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

DOE requests and will accept comments until 60 days after the notice has published in the Federal Register, via the Federal eRulemaking Portal.

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