WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has increased the energy efficiency standards for residential furnaces and boilers. For natural gas furnaces, the standard is increased from 78 percent to 80 percent. For natural gas boilers, the standard is increased from 80 percent to 82 percent. For oil furnaces, the standard is increased from 78 percent to 82 percent. And for oil boilers, the standard is increased from 80 percent to 83 percent.

DOE estimates that these amended standards, which will become effective in 2015, will save the equivalent of the total amount of energy consumed by 2.5 million American households in one year, or approximately 0.25 quadrillion Btu of energy, over a period of 24 years (from 2015-2038).

“As a nation, we must find better and more ways to both conserve energy and use it more efficiently and productively. These amended standards will not only cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, but they also allow consumers to make smarter energy choices that will save energy and money,” DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Andy Karsner said.

DOE has determined that the new energy efficiency standards for residential non-weatherized and weatherized gas furnaces, mobile home gas furnaces, oil-fired furnaces, and gas- and oil-fired boilers are technologically feasible, economically justified, and will result in significant conservation of energy as a result of increased efficiency. The total energy savings are estimated to result in cumulative greenhouse gas emission reductions of approximately 7.8 million tons of carbon dioxide - an amount equal to the emissions produced by 2.6 percent of all light truck vehicles on U.S. roads in one year. The amended standards can be found in the Federal Register.

This Final Rule for residential furnaces and boilers was issued under a consent decree schedule entered in State of New York v. Bodman. DOE sought to modify the schedule in order to more fully review comments received on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Comments indicated the feasibility and desirability of addressing natural gas price impacts as a result of the standards at issue in this rulemaking. DOE said it wished to more fully consider such potential impacts, prior to finalizing this Rule, and preliminarily believed that, if confirmed, would have merited consideration in evaluating higher efficiency standards for the products covered by this rulemaking. However, DOE’s motion to modify the consent decree was denied and, therefore, DOE issued this Final Rule.

Publication date: 11/19/2007