The American Gas Association, whose members include ONE Gas in Oklahoma, is putting up a challenge to the Biden administration’s regulations against natural gas furnaces.
The Association contends the rules will affect more than half of all U.S. households that rely on natural gas for home heating and that includes a lot of Oklahomans. The group’s members, including those in Oklahoma who provide natural gas to more than 74 million customers across the U.S. and if the regulations are allowed to take effect, will in effect ban the sale of a large number of furnaces.
“This ruling from DOE will push American families with natural gas heat into a corner,” said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert, adding, “when their furnace goes out, they’ll be forced to choose between retrofitting for electric with the increased month-to-month utility bills that entails or engaging in a costly and time-consuming renovation to retrofit their home for a completely different type of natural gas furnace,”
The AGA along with some trade associations and at least one manufacturer filed a legal challenge this week against the Department of Energy. The rules were finalized in September and require furnaces to have an annual fuel utilitization efficiency of 95% while the current requirement is 80%. Such a requirement means makers of the furnaces would only be able to sell furnaces meeting such a standard within six years.
“AGA has attempted to work with the Department of Energy to address the rule’s profound impacts on consumers and homeowners with a solutions-oriented approach to energy conservation that protects consumers and ensures continued availability of low-cost, low-emission natural gas furnaces,” added Harbart. “Unfortunately, our 114 pages of comments have been summarily ignored.”