On June 8, 121 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Ernest Moniz urging him and his agency to reconsider DOE’s recent proposed 92 percent AFUE nationwide residential furnace standard. The current national standard for residential natural gas furnaces is 80 percent AFUE.
In the letter from U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, Brooks and 120 undersigned members of the House — including 116 Republicans and four Democrats — said they are “extremely concerned that requiring the elimination of the economical and efficient non-condensing furnace will place an unnecessary burden on already struggling homeowners in our states,” and that "by setting a nationwide energy efficiency standard that precludes a consumer from choosing to install a non-condensing furnace, DOE will be forcing many homeowners either to abandon the use of natural gas to heat their homes or pay substantially more for the installation of a furnace that meets the new standard."
In the letter, Brooks also strongly encouraged Moniz to “avoid such an ‘either-or’ approach to furnace efficiency by establishing separate product classes for condensing and non-condensing furnaces, each with its own efficiency standard.”
The letter comes on the heels of a House Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing held last week, in which Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan was questioned by members about the impact of the proposed rule. The hearing also included a discussion of the financial impact of replacing a non-condensing furnace, as well as concern over a high national AFUE standard for areas of the country that have warmer climates.