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DOE Loosens Gas Stoves Rule

The Department of Energy is loosening proposed energy-efficiency regulations for gas cooktops after reviewing data submitted by one of the NAM’s trade association partners and a utility company, POLITICO (subscription) reports.

What’s going on: “In a notice of data availability to be published in Wednesday’s Federal Register, DOE floated less stringent efficiency requirements for gas stoves. The initial proposal called for a consumption limit of 1,204 … British thermal units, or kBtu, per year, down from the baseline estimate of 1,775 kBtu per year. But the new proposal raises those figures slightly. Now DOE is proposing a limit of 1,343 kBtu per year, down from a recalculated baseline of 1,900 kBtu per year.”

  • The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers and PG&E provided the DOE with data on cooktops with higher consumption rates, which the agency had not used in its initial efficiency testing.
  • “Other comments led DOE ‘to better understand’ what features consumers want in a gas stove, including multiple high input rate burners and continuous cast-iron grates,” POLITICO reports.

Why it’s important: Manufacturers would be required to spend more than $2.5 billion to comply with the originally proposed rules, according to the DOE’s own estimates. However, consumers would save just 12.5 cents a month in energy costs.

  • The mandates would have been so strict as to make 96% of gas stoves on the market noncompliant.

What Congress has done: In June the House passed the Save Our Gas Stoves Act, which would prevent the DOE from advancing its unworkable stove requirements.

What we’re doing: The NAM has held high-level discussions with policymakers on the importance of feasibility, affordability and consumer choice in rulemaking.

  • To that end, in June the NAM and members of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations and Conference of State Manufacturers Associations created the Manufacturers for Sensible Regulations, which aims to combat the recent regulatory onslaught by federal agencies.

The NAM says: “Manufacturers depend on regulatory clarity and certainty,” said NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram.

  • Throughout the year, the Department of Energy has proposed an unprecedented slew of regulations, and many were aimed at home appliances. The DOE is now taking steps toward a solution that is less likely to raise production costs significantly for manufacturers, and less likely to reduce the available features, performance and affordability for consumers.”
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