The Department of Energy (DOE) announced new regulatory standards for residential gas furnaces on Friday with the goal of curbing “greenhouse gas emissions,” as per a press release.
In what many conservatives view as a surreptitious approach to achieving administration’s radical green agenda, the DOE has set forth or finalized efficiency standards for 24 appliances in their bid to curtail greenhouse gas emissions so the latest announcement comes as no surprise.
Understandably, the American Gas Association (AGA) has expressed serious reservations about this new rule, warning that it could render 40-60% of gas furnaces in American homes obsolete. Set to be implemented in 2028, this mandate would require residential furnaces to achieve a fuel efficiency rate of 95%.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm articulated the DOE’s position, stating, “In compliance with Congress’s directives, the DOE persists in evaluating and finalizing energy benchmarks for household devices, such as residential furnaces. Our aim is to alleviate financial strain for hardworking American families by minimizing energy consumption and curbing pollutants in homes nationwide.”
Granholm further emphasized, “The initiatives taken today, combined with the Biden administration’s ongoing and future efforts towards energy efficiency, highlight President Biden’s dedication to saving Americans money and fostering healthier communities.”
In a letter to the DOE back in June, the AGA stressed the cost-effectiveness of gas furnaces and expressed concerns over the potential financial burdens the electrification of several appliances could impose on consumers, considering that many gas-powered devices are generally more cost-effective.
While the DOE stresses its goal of saving taxpayers money, it is clear the economic implications of this transition are huge. The DOE is set to invest $225 million to assist state and local governments in adopting building codes that favor electrification over gas-operated appliances.
Additionally, the Biden administration put forth a proposal in June which would mandate gas generators to cease operation upon hitting a specific emission threshold. This essentially limits alternative power when electricity is not available.
AGA’s Richard Meyer, Vice President of energy markets, analysis, and standards, voiced concerns over the potential financial burden for American homeowners.
“Many homeowners may find themselves obligated to install new equipment to vent gas from their premises. While some already have these high-efficiency or ‘condensing’ units, many do not. Consequently, this mandate could necessitate expensive retrofitting for numerous consumers,” Meyer said.
Additionally, the Biden administration has signaled its intention to tighten standards on other household items, having proposed regulations aimed at water heaters in July to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
They also suggested new mandates in March for common household appliances like refrigerators and washing machines – rules that could potentially impose billions in additional costs on consumers.
This aggressive focus on appliance efficiency standards comes as part of a broader strategy by the Biden administration to transition all appliances to electric in line with its environmental objectives.
Earlier in February, the DOE floated another rule aiming to establish new energy efficiency criteria for gas stoves in the U.S. There were even discussions, as an official from the Biden administration intimated to Bloomberg, of a possible nationwide prohibition on gas stoves.
This proposal was grounded in a December 2022 study – a study which has since been contested – suggesting that stoves contributed to nearly 12.7% of childhood asthma incidents.
One has to seriously step back and consider the implications of all of these regulations. They affect the fundamental needs of the American people – heating, air conditioning, the ability to refrigerate, cook and transport from location to location.
If natural gas is no longer allowed and all power must be electric for which grids across the country are not able to handle, what is the end game for the climate agenda?