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Independent Women continues to push back against the U.S. Department of Energy’s net-zero energy agenda attempts to regulate household appliances in nearly every room of your home. The Department’s latest victim is gas furnaces. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), and Congressman Pat Fallon (R-TX)—with support of over 25 Members of Congress—have introduced a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that would block the Department of Energy’s finalized gas furnace rule. See Independent Women’s Voice’s letter of support below. You too can take action through Independent Women’s Network’s Tell The Biden Administration To Get Out Of Your Home! Action Center.
February 5, 2024
Dear Members of Congress,
On behalf of Independent Women’s Voice, I strongly encourage the passage of bicameral disapproval resolutions, SJR 58 and HJR 111, of the Department of Energy’s “Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Furnaces” under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), introduced by Representative Michelle Fischbach (R) of Minnesota and Senator Ted Cruz (R) of Texas. Independent Women’s Voice fights for women and their loved ones by effectively expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well-intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being.
This resolution would repeal the Department of Energy’s finalized rule on Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Furnaces set to be finalized on February 16th, 2024, and enacted in 2028. The rule would mandate phasing out non-condensing gas furnaces for condensing ones to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95%. Under the new rule, consumers would have to replace their existing furnace with new models that exhaust gas out of homes to fulfill this AFUE requirement.
Consumer gas furnaces are quite popular with Americans. These appliances account for 19% of annual residential energy use in the U.S. This new standard, however, would make non-condensing furnaces more cost prohibitive and result in less consumer choice–with 60% of non-condensing gas furnaces expected to be eliminated from the market. Americans will see costs rise approximately $500 and should anticipate paying $2,200 to install condensing models. These changes would adversely affect a third of U.S. households. DOE’s own data shows 30% of senior-only households, 26% of low-income households, and 27% of small business consumers would be impacted by this policy change.
The gas furnace rule is part of the Biden administration’s continued war on commonly-owned, reliable household appliances. These rules claim to be energy efficient, but are hardly economically sustainable. According to one estimate from the Alliance for Consumers, Americans will pay an additional $9,000 on average to achieve compliance with these many new mandates.
These resolutions would be a course correction for obtuse Department of Energy rulemaking that prioritizes impractical, infeasible net-zero decarbonization goals over energy efficiency and affordability and quality of life for consumers.
Director, Center for Energy and Conservation
Independent Women’s Voice