The Appliance Standards Improvement Act of 2009 (S. 598) was introduced by Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), seeks to strengthen and improve the Department of Energy's appliance standards program and the joint DOE-EPA Energy Star program.
As the National Association of State Energy Officials note, the DOE's appliance standards program targets the low-end of the efficiency spectrum by establishing national minimum energy efficiency standards for dozens of products. Standards phase out the production and sale of the least efficient models of a product. The Energy Star program, in contrast, targets the high-end of the efficiency spectrum, using labeling and marketing to promote the development and sale of highly efficient products, including major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics and more.
The potential impact of this legislation ultimately ranges from the office headquarters to the bulk plant to the heating appliances installed in a customer’s home.
As the Petroleum Marketers Association of America notes, language was approved that would create energy efficiency standards for commercial furnaces. It would provide that warm air furnaces with an input rating of 225,000 Btu per hour or more and manufactured after January 1, 2011, would be required to meet the following levels:
- Gas-fired units would have a minimum combustion efficiency of 80 percent, include an uninterrupted or intermittent ignition device, have jacket losses not exceeding 0.75 percent of the input rating and have power venting or a flue damper.
- Oil-fired units would have a minimum thermal efficiency of 81 percent, have jacket losses not exceeding 0.75 percent of the input rating and have power venting or a flue damper.
PMAA is requesting your comments on the language so it we can communicate to the Energy Committee any changes that might be needed.