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DOE Issues Revisions to Proposed Residential Furnace Rule
September 19, 2016

The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a pre-publication supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR) regarding amended efficiency standards for residential non-weatherized gas furnaces and mobile home furnaces. The SNOPR proposes revisions to the NOPR on the same subject, issued by DOE in March 2015.

The major change from the original NOPR involves BTU input rates. In the original NOPR, DOE proposed a nationwide 92 percent AFUE standard. The SNOPR revises that to create a separate standard of 80 percent AFUE for models with an input rate of 55,000 Btu/h or less. Importantly, however, the SNOPR makes no change to either the minimum AFUE requirement of 92 percent for mobile home furnaces or to the maximum standby and off-mode electrical consumption standard of 8.5 Watts proposed in the original NOPR. The effective date of these proposed revised furnace efficiency standards is five years after the publication of the final rule. Assuming that DOE is unlikely to finalize this rule before January 2017, the effective date is anticipated to be sometime in 2022.

DOE will hold a public meeting to discuss the SNOPR on Monday, October 17, 2016, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 8E-089 of DOE’s headquarters, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., in Washington, D.C. Those wishing to attend this meeting are asked to notify the Appliance and Equipment Standards Staff at (202) 586-6636 or by email at Requests to present prepared statements at the public meeting must be received by DOE by Monday, October 10, and an electronic copy of the prepared statement must be provided to DOE by that same date. This meeting will also be available by webinar; information on attending is provided in the notice.

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