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NEFI And OMA Submit Joint Comments Supporting ENERGY STAR'S Draft Furnace Specifications

admin  -   02:46 pm  -   May 17th, 2024

NEFI-OMA-ENERGY-STAR-Furnace-Comments-20240516.pngThe National Energy & Fuel Institute (NEFI) and Oilheat Manufacturers Association (OMA) this week endorsed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's draft ENERGY STAR® Furnace Specification that incentivizes high-efficiency, biofuel compatible furnaces (read here).

The fact that the EPA decided to keep oil (liquid fuel) systems in ENERGY STAR at all is a major win. Rather than cut oil furnaces from the program as initially proposed last year, the EPA suggests increasing the minimum efficiency from 85 to 87 AFUE. What's more, the agency has embraced NEFI and OMA’s suggestion that the ENERGY STAR specification be linked to biofuel compatibility, not unlike the home efficiency tax credit in the Inflation Reduction Act.

For the first time ever, a federal agency is proposing a policy that directly acknowledges the benefits of renewable liquid heating fuels - a very positive development.

NEFI and OMA are also pleased the EPA is considering a place for hybrid (dual fuel) systems in the ENERGY STAR program. The agency has promised to begin work on that later this year.

Note that EPA’s draft furnace specification does not affect boilers. We are still waiting on a determination as to whether boilers will remain in ENERGY STAR. Last summer, the EPA proposed eliminating boilers and replacing them with a new ENERGY STAR specification for air-to-water (hydronic) heat pump systems. We also await release of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) final rule on minimum appliance efficiency standards for oil boilers, and a final determination on whether the DOE will amend standard for oil furnaces. We continue to monitor developments closely.

Thank you to everyone who responded to last year's call to action to SAVE ENERGY STAR and sent letters in opposition to the EPA’s plan to remove furnaces and boilers from the program. Nearly 700 letters were sent to the administration and, because of your effort and our work in Washington, we are making an impact. But we must remain vigilant. The fight is not over. Our work is made possible through your generous donations to the NEFI Advocacy Fund. Please watch for updates on this and other issues that affect your business.

Read the Comment Letter here >

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