Regulations on gas stoves made national news last year, but lesser known are the over 15 regulations the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed or finalized that affect appliances in nearly every room of your house. 

The DOE recently finalized an efficiency standard for natural gas furnaces that increases costs and limits consumer choices. Additionally, the DOE used faulty authority to implement the rule.

The rule effectively removes the option of non-condensing gas furnaces, making only condensing furnaces available. The American Gas Association estimates that the regulation will remove up to 60% of current consumer furnaces off the market. Residential gas furnaces currently make up 19% of annual residential energy use. The DOE itself estimated that apart from the rule non-condensing furnaces would make up 42% of the furnace market in 2029.   

Condensing furnaces are more efficient, but also significantly more expensive and sometimes incompatible with homes that have non-condensing furnaces. The Alliance for Consumers estimates that the new standard will cost consumers almost $500 more, and the AGA predicts installation costs could be up to $2,200. All together, the over 15 rules would increase costs by over $9,000 for the average household. Stuart Saulters, the American Public Gas Association Vice President of Government Relations, elaborates on the financial impact of the standard:

“Without access to this technology, many consumers will be forced to replace their furnaces with costly retrofits, if even possible, or switch to electric alternatives. This policy is especially concerning for vulnerable, underserved communities, potentially forcing them to shift to electric furnaces, which are less affordable and efficient than the direct use of natural gas.”

The DOE’s regulation slated to go into effect in 2028 will make it especially difficult for low-income households that live in older and smaller homes to replace their furnaces. Specifically, it is expected to increase costs for 30% of senior-only households, 26% of low-income households, and 27% of small business consumers. All in all, the rule could increase costs for 55% of households. 

Fortunately legal challenges to the standard are already underway. The American Gas Association, American Public Gas Association, National Propane Gas Association, and manufacturer Thermo Products have all filed a lawsuit. Members on the House Small Business Committee have expressed concerns with the rule’s potential impacts on small businesses. More legislators are expected to follow suit with others who have proposed bills blocking the DOE from implementing gas stove bans.

Independent Women is exposing the Department of Energy’s over 15 proposed or finalized regulations that would make your home cost more to run, repair, and replace. This blog is the first in a series called “Secretary Granholm—Hands Off My House.” To learn more and take action, visit OUR ACTION CENTER. Be sure to check out the interactive “Secretary Granholm’s House of Horrors” to see how the rules could affect appliances in your home.