NEFI: EPA Proposes Changes to Energy Star

The EPA issued a proposal to limit the Energy Star certification to heat pumps exclusively, potentially excluding furnaces and boilers from the program, reported the National Energy & Fuels Institute. Central air conditioners would also be affected.

The proposal is “part of the administration’s broader plan to discourage continued use of liquid fuel and gas appliances and push consumers towards heat pumps,” Jim Collura, NEFI’s vice president of governmental affairs, wrote in an email to members.

An EPA memo was sent to Energy Star stakeholders on May 18. Public comments are due by Thursday, June 22, 2023.

Collura said NEFI had taken the following steps:

  1. Dialogue with like-minded national organizations has been initiated, contributing to the formation of a broad coalition united in opposition to the proposal. The coalition is collaborating on talking points, various communications, and overall strategy. It first met on Friday [June 2] and will meet again in a few days. The new coalition includes NEFI, National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), American Gas Association (AGA), American Public Gas Association (APGA), National Association of Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Contractors (PHCC), Air Conditioning Contractors Assn. (ACCA), and Energy Marketers of America (EMA).
  2. Two meetings of NEFI’s Home Efficiency Subcommittee have been held within the past week to discuss the Energy Star proposal, refine talking points, and develop a coherent response strategy. Special thanks to Subcommittee chair David Foster of Wilcox Fuels for his leadership, and to all subcommittee members for their invaluable contributions.
  3. The NEFI Home Efficiency Subcommittee has outlined a robust strategy which includes:
    1. Working with coalition partners to prepare an immediate communication to the EPA that outlines our concerns. We believe its proposal may violate the Administrative Procedures Act and current administration policies, and lacks sufficient supporting data. We will be requesting, at a minimum, an extension to the comment deadline.
    2. Preparing talking points and a grassroots “call to action” to facilitate responses from NEFI members and supporters to the EPA. We aim to complete these documents and initiate the call to action by Thursday, June 8.
    3. Drafting a technical comment letter for submission to EPA on behalf of the industry before the June 22 deadline.
    4. Briefing allies on Capitol Hill on this outrageous proposal, and enlisting their support in our cause.

NEFI is a non-profit, non-partisan trade association that has served Main Street energy providers since 1942.

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