BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 7, 2023
4 months ago

Experts Warn of 'Big Problem' as Biden Administration Prepares to Crack Down on Stoves and Furnaces

As the Biden administration continues its war on natural gas appliances, experts say consumers will be the losers.

In May, the Biden administration boosted energy efficiency standards for gas stoves, setting a level that's above 96 percent of current gas stoves, according to the Washington Examiner.

In the coming weeks, the administration will use a similar tactic with residential gas furnaces.

“By updating energy standards for many carbon-emitting appliances, such as home furnaces, the Biden Administration is working to save consumers money,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said in a statement in June 2022.

Furnaces would be required to meet a 95 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency standard, which only about 40 percent of current furnaces can meet, CNN reported last year.

The Department of Energy said over three decades, consumers would save $30.3 billion, but for the average homeowner that works out to about five bucks a month.

"This is a classic example of one size not fitting all. Every home is different, every homeowner is different and people are best off having a wide range of choices," Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Fox News.

"The efficiency standard would effectively outlaw non-condensing furnaces and condensing alternatives would be the only ones available. Those are more efficient, but they cost more. And installation costs could be a big problem for some houses that are not compatible with condensing furnaces,” he said.

The rule would take effect in 2029.

Richard Meyer, the vice president of energy markets, analysis and standards at the American Gas Association, told Fox News there is a hidden cost because homeowners would need to “install new equipment to exhaust gas out of their home."

"These higher efficiency units, or so-called condensing units — a lot of consumers have them in their home, but a lot of consumers don't," Meyer said. "So, this rule would require additional retrofits for a lot of consumers. And those retrofits can be extremely cost prohibitive."

He said the Biden administration’s effort to combat climate change would “restrict the options and availability of the direct use of natural gas for consumers."

“A lot of the policies we're seeing that are designed to restrict natural gas may end up having a counterproductive result and could increase costs to consumers and could increase the emissions associated with the energy use by those consumers,” Meyer said.

Francis Dietz, a spokesman for the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, which represents heating equipment manufacturers, said consumers deserve choices.

"So, you know, you would have one at a level low enough where it would be more affordable for consumers and others who felt they needed even more efficiency would still have some choices there,” he told Fox News.

In an Op-Ed in National Review last year, Lieberman wrote that it "is important to emphasize that these kinds of appliance mandates have no upside for consumers, only downside.”

“Any homeowner who wants a condensing furnace will always be free to choose one, with or without meddling by Washington. The only thing federal regulations do is force this particular choice on everyone, like it or not,” he said.

Lieberman said the climate impact of the rules is “based on a long chain of exaggerated assumptions — including reliance on climate models with a track record for significantly overstating actual temperature increases while also inflating the likely economic damage from the predicted warming.”

“In reality, the proposed rule’s effect on future temperatures will almost certainly be too small to detect and far too small to make any difference,” he wrote.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal



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