Efficiency Standard for Gas Furnaces Arrives

Nearly $22 billion in energy bill savings could result from new standard by DOE, which will save more natural gas than any other national standard

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today just released a revised and long-awaited proposed minimum efficiency standard for residential natural gas furnaces, which are found in about 40 percent of U.S. homes, making them the most prevalent heating equipment in America. DOE estimates the updated standard will deliver up to $21.7 billion in energy bill savings to consumers and avoid approximately 143 million metric tons of carbon pollution over a 30-period, making it one of the most significant natural-gas saving efficiency standards in agency history.

It’s been almost 25 years since there’s been a significant update to the energy efficiency standard for this common household equipment and with heating accounting for about two-fifths of all residential energy use, a new standard can make a significant difference to household budgets, saving consumers $411 a year on average.

“The big difference between today’s proposal and the original proposal issued last year is that DOE has created a class of small furnaces and proposed to leave the standard unchanged at 80% efficiency for these products,” notes Andrew deLaski, Executive Director, Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP).

Read deLaski’s blog on the topic here.
Read Elizabeth Noll, NRDC’s energy and transportation program legislative director, on the topic here.