WASHINGTON - In a final rule published in the March 2007 Federal Register, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) decided not to adopt the amended standards for commercial packaged boilers and gas-fired instantaneous water heaters contained in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1999.

DOE stated that it will not amend the current federal standards for small commercial packaged boilers (greater than 300,000 Btuh and less than or equal to 2.5 million Btuh) to adopt ASHRAE 90.1–1999, since it views the standard levels as less stringent than the existing federal standards for these products.

DOE also did not amend the standards for large commercial packaged boilers (greater than 2.5 million Btuh) and gas-fired commercial instantaneous water heaters because the levels for these products were not amended in ASHRAE 90.1–1999 and thus DOE lacks the authority to prescribe more stringent standards.

Under the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, DOE is supposed to adopt amended ASHRAE 90.1 standards as uniform national standards unless the department determines that more stringent standards are technically feasible and economically justified and would save significant additional energy.

EPCA forbids DOE to reduce the stringency of an existing federal standard.

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Publication date:04/30/2007