THE SOURCE - Fall 2015 - (Page 14)

feature APGA Responds to DOE Efficiency Standards for Natural Gas Furnaces O By Arthur Corbin & Owen Reeves n March 12, the Department of Energy (DOE) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) raising the mandatory energy efficiency standard nationwide for residential furnaces to 92 percent. The current standard, to become effective in November 2015, is 80 percent Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE), which allows a homeowner to install a non-condensing furnace. DOE's proposed 92 percent AFUE standard would ban the use of non-condensing furnaces and instead require only condensing furnaces after the compliance date in 2021. On the surface, DOE's proposed rule appears to help natural gas consumers, the economy and the environment through improved appliance efficiency. However, the results under the rule will be quite the opposite. Natural gas consumers will have fewer options, and these limited options will be more expensive when their non-condensing furnace needs to be replaced. These limiting options will likely force many of them to accept the less efficient, higher monthly costs and greater emissions associated with the alternative electric space heating options. As proposed, DOE's rule will have a devastating impact on natural gas consumers, the economy and the environment. This rule would undermine efficiency goals, since it would encourage many consumers that rely on non-condensing furnaces, to fuel switch, and significantly increase consumer costs. APGA and its members have been, and will continue to be, supporters of energy efficiency. The direct-use of natural gas is 92 percent efficient. Yet, by promoting fuel switching away from natural gas to less efficient electric space heating options, DOE's proposed efficiency rule is self-defeating. The primary areas of concern are the additional costs associated with installation of a condensing furnace and the impact these significantly higher costs will have on the American people. Extensive and expensive venting modifications must be made to accommodate a condensing furnace in the house and have a 14 THE SOURCE | THE VOICE AND CHOICE OF PUBLIC GAS

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of THE SOURCE - Fall 2015

First Person
APGA Events
Q&A: Senator Gardner
APGA Responds to Efficiency Standards
Georgia Forms New State Association
Greenest CNG Station Opens in Tennessee
Factors that Fuel the Decision to Switch to CNG
Emerging CSST Products
Debut of the Gas Equipment & Appliance Conference
New Management Program for a Growing System
Shale and Natural Gas Lead U.S. Manufacturing Resurgence
Legislative Outlook
The Pipeline
Marketing Matters
Advertisers’ Index/
At Last

THE SOURCE - Fall 2015