U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office – Appliance & Equipment Standards
Residential Furnaces and Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Direct Final Rule
Recent Updates: A Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Residential Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps Test Procedure (RIN: 1904–AB94) was published on October 24, 2011. (76 FR 65616) The Department is re-opening the comment period for this notice, and comments must be submitted no later than January 20, 2012. For more information see the Future Test Procedure section on the Residential Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps webpage.
This page presents information on the direct final rule (and accompanying notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR)) amending energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and central air conditioners and heat pumps.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007) amended the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA) to allow the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to issue a direct final rule upon receipt of recommendations for an energy conservation standard that are submitted jointly by interested persons that are fairly representative of relevant points of view. A NOPR that proposes an identical energy efficiency standard must be published simultaneously with the direct final rule, and DOE must provide a public comment period of at least 110 days on this proposal. (42 U.S.C. 6295(p)(4)) Not later than 120 days after issuance of the direct final rule, if one or more adverse comments or an alternative joint recommendation are received relating to the direct final rule, the Secretary must determine whether the comments or alternative recommendation may provide a reasonable basis for withdrawal of the direct final rule under 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) or other applicable law. If the Secretary makes such a determination, DOE must withdraw the direct final rule and proceed with the simultaneously-published NOPR. Interested parties have 110 days to provide comment, after which time DOE will make a determination regarding whether the final rule will stand or DOE will withdraw the final rule.
On January 15, 2010, the Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) submitted a joint comment to DOE's residential furnaces and central air conditioners and heat pumps rulemakings recommending adoption of a package of minimum energy conservation standards for residential central air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces, as well as associated compliance dates for such recommended standards ("consensus agreement"). The consensus agreement represents a negotiated agreement among a variety of interested stakeholders, including manufacturers and environmental and efficiency advocates. The original agreement was completed on October 13, 2009, and had 15 signatories, including AHRI, ACEEE, ASE, NRDC, ASAP, NEEP, NPCC, the California Energy Commission (CEC), Bard Manufacturing Company Inc., Carrier Residential and Light Commercial Systems, Goodman Global Inc., Lennox Residential, Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, National Comfort Products, and Trane Residential.
Upon receiving the consensus agreement and analyzing the recommended energy conservation standards contained in the agreement, DOE issued a direct final rule amending the energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and central air conditioners and heat pumps on June 27, 2011. 76 FR 37408. Following the publication of the direct final rule, DOE accepted public comments on the adopted standards until October 17, 2011. Upon consideration of the comments received, DOE confirmed the energy conservation standard levels adopted in the direct final rule as the Federal standard levels for residential furnaces and residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. The standards established in the final rule will be applied starting May 1, 2013 for non-weatherized furnaces, and January 1, 2015, for weatherized furnaces and central air conditioners and heat pumps.
- Notice of Effective Date and Compliance Dates for the Direct Final Rule
- Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
- Correction Notice to Direct Final Rule: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, Federal Register, 76 FR 39245, July 6, 2011 .
- Direct Final Rule: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, Federal Register, 76 FR 37408, June 27, 2011 .
- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces, Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps, Federal Register, 76 FR 37549, June 27, 2011 .
- Direct Final Rule Technical Support Document (TSD)
- Direct Final Rule Analytical Tools
- Consensus Agreement: Joint Stakeholders Comments on Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Central Air Conditioners Heat Pumps and Residential Furnaces.
After a regulatory action has been issued, Section 6(a)(3)(E) of EO 12866 requires agencies to identify in a complete, clear, and simple manner, the substantive changes between the draft submitted to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review and the action subsequently announced, and identify those changes in the regulatory action that were made at the suggestion or recommendation of OIRA. The documents at the links below are intended to comply with this requirement.
APGA Life-Cycle Cost Scenarios
In response to DOE's publication of the Residential Furnaces, Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps direct final rule (DFR), the American Public Gas Association (APGA) requested that DOE run a suite of scenarios using DOE's Furnace DFR Life-Cycle Cost (LCC) model (see October 7, 2011 email from APGA to DOE, Docket No. 2011-BT-STD-0011-0020). APGA's request included a detailed description of various scenarios that were grouped into four cases. Each of the four cases included several LCC model modifications based on various APGA assumptions regarding energy prices, expected product lifetime, learning curve, and installation costs. The spreadsheet below contains a description of each scenario requested by APGA, the analytical assumptions underlying each scenario, and results of each of the requested scenarios. Although DOE does not necessarily endorse the scenarios or assumptions selected by APGA, DOE is posting the analyses and corresponding results here in order to make them available for review by APGA and all other interested parties.