WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced its intent to propose new energy efficiency standards for residential furnaces and boilers and for commercial air conditioners and heat pumps.

DOE has published an "Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" for each product category in the Federal Register. Each will be the subject of an upcoming public meeting at which the DOE will summarize its analysis and seek public comment.

The public meetings are scheduled for Sept. 29, 2004, for residential furnaces and boilers, and Sept. 30, 2004, for commercial air conditioners and heat pumps. The purpose of the public meetings is to present DOE's analysis methods and to characterize the results to date; to discuss specific issues related to each rulemaking; to seek input from attendees on methodologies, assumptions, and data sources; and to describe upcoming analyses and next steps.

For residential furnaces and boilers, the DOE is looking at energy efficiency levels ranging from 80 to 90+ percent AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency).

For commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, the DOE has identified candidate energy efficiency standard levels ranging from 10 to 12 EER (energy efficiency ratio).

For more information, visit www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/.

Publication date: 08/09/2004