Biden Takes Away What From Americans?
The forthcoming regulations from the Biden administration are anticipated to be finalized soon, aiming to outlaw a selection of residential gas-powered furnaces available for future consumer purchase.
According to Fox, based on expert analysis, the regulations put forth by the Department of Energy (DOE) in June 2022 are predicted to impose limitations on consumer choice, potentially leading to increased prices and having minimal effects on greenhouse gas emissions. The DOE has the authority to finalize these rules in the coming weeks, specifically targeting residential gas furnaces that are relied upon by over 50% of households in the United States for space heating.
Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, emphasized in an interview with Fox News Digital that the proposed regulations serve as a prime example of the limitations of a uniform approach. Lieberman explained that not every home is the same, and homeowners have unique circumstances. It is essential for individuals to have a diverse array of options available to them. This way, they can collaborate with their contractor to determine the most suitable choice for their specific home and needs.
Lieberman highlighted that the proposed efficiency standard would essentially render non-condensing furnaces prohibited, leaving only condensing alternatives as the available option. While these condensing furnaces are more efficient, they also come with a higher price tag. Additionally, Lieberman expressed concerns about installation costs, particularly for houses that may not be compatible with condensing furnaces, posing potential challenges for homeowners.
As per the proposed regulations, the Department of Energy (DOE) aims to enforce a requirement for furnaces to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95% by 2029. This implies that within six years, manufacturers would be limited to selling furnaces that can convert a minimum of 95% of fuel into heat. It is worth noting that the current industry standard for residential furnaces stands at an AFUE of 80%.
Due to the stringent AFUE requirements, the proposed regulations would effectively remove non-condensing gas furnaces from the market. These furnaces, while less efficient, are typically more affordable. However, if consumers choose to replace their non-condensing furnaces with condensing furnaces once the regulations are in place, they may encounter significant installation costs.
Richard Meyer, the vice president of energy markets, analysis, and standards at the American Gas Association (AGA), emphasized the technical aspects that make the proposed rule particularly worrisome. Meyer stated, “The concern lies in the consumers’ ability to meet this new efficiency standard and remain in compliance.”
Meyer further explained that many consumers would be required to install new equipment to properly vent gas out of their homes in order to comply with the proposed regulations. The higher efficiency units, known as condensing units, are already present in some households, but many others do not have them. Consequently, the rule would necessitate costly retrofits for numerous consumers, posing significant financial barriers.