DOE Issues a Notice of Proposed Determination, Request for Comment and Public Meeting Pertaining to Standards for Direct Heating Equipment. 
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice of proposed determination (NOPD) and request for comment pertaining to standards for direct heating equipment (DHE).  DHE products include natural gas wall furnaces, room heaters and floor furnaces. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA)  requires DOE to periodically determine whether more-stringent, amended standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified, and would result in significant energy savings. DOE has tentatively concluded in this document that more-stringent standards for DHE would not save a significant amount of energy. Further, depending on the product class, more-stringent standards for DHE would not be technologically feasible or economically justified. As such, DOE has tentatively determined that amended energy conservation standards are not needed. DOE requests comment on this proposed determination, as well as the associated analyses and results. DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this NOPD until 75 days after the notice has published in the Federal Register. DOE will send a follow-up email to announce the closing date once the notice has published.  Comments  can be submitted at docket number EERE-2019-BT-STD-0002, by email (, Federal eRulemaking portal ( postal mail, or hand delivery/courier. A webinar will be held on Monday, January 25, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can Click here to register for the webinar. Frequently Asked Questions on the Notice of Proposed Determination and Request for Comment pertaining to energy conservation standards for Direct Heating Equipment.  Detailed  product information for DHE can be found here at  Direct Heating Equipment.
ACEEE November 23, 2020 Press Release Reports that Groups Urge More Stringent Appliance  & Building Efficiency Codes &  Standards.
Anticipating a change in administrations, the  American Council for an EnergyEfficient Economy (ACEEE)reported on Monday that a “half a dozen federal agencies should use their authority under existing laws to create jobs, reduce consumers’ utility bills, and mitigate climate change by reducing energy waste from homes and buildings”. They revealed that a coalition of groups urged Joe Biden in a letter that was signed by 27 organizations, including energy efficiency advocates, business associations, and environmental and consumer groups to do just that.  Of interest to the natural gas industry are their recommendations to “revive appliance efficiency standards by the Department of Energy, to promptly reverse changes to the Process Improvement Rule to remove hurdles to strong new standards”, publish standards for residential furnaces and commercial water heaters in 2021 and expedite at least 40 standards that are due for updates by the end of the 2024, including 28 that are already past due”. The agenda in the letter embraces and expands on proposals published by the ACEEE in three issue briefs  as well as in a report on appliance standards released last week. It is obvious that there will be a substantial increase in DOE  efficiency  rulemakings that will need to be addressed in the coming years to maintain reasonable requirements for natural gas appliances and continue the direct use of natural gas applications for homes and buildings.