After pushback from consumers, manufacturers, utilities and other stakeholders, the U.S. Department of Energy this week finalized efficiency standards for residential cooking products, adopting efficiency standards that 97% of gas stove models and 77% of smooth-top electric stove models already meet.
The American Gas Association (AGA) said the final rule stands in stark contrast to the DOE’s original proposal that would have removed or required alterations to 96% of natural gas cooktops currently on the market. The revised proposal responds to feedback from American families and businesses, trade associations, and bipartisan legislation demonstrating that Congress found DOE had exceeded its authority in trying to restrict access to natural gas appliances with features consumers want, AGA said.
DOE said the new standards will only require a small portion of gas stove appliance models to make modest improvements to match the level of energy efficiency already demonstrated by the majority of models on the market today.
“DOE’s initial proposal would have removed 96% of natural gas cooktops from the market,” said AGA President and CEO AGA Karen Harbert. “AGA engaged heavily throughout this process and was able to flip that ratio to keep 97% of natural gas stoves on the market. While that is clearly a step in the right direction, AGA remains concerned with DOE’s precedent of establishing efficiency standards with minimal energy savings and just $3 of consumer savings over the lifetime of the appliance.”
Compliance will be required by newly manufactured, including imported, models beginning Jan. 31, 2028, the DOE said. The new standards will not result in the loss of any consumer-desired features in future models, such as continuous cast-iron grates, high input rate burners, and other specialty burners.
The DOE issued a statement on Monday, saying the new energy efficiency standards will save residential utility customers $1.6 billion over 30 years.
“DOE is dedicated to working together with our industry partners and stakeholders throughout 2024 to continue strengthening appliance standards, addressing a backlog of Congressionally mandated energy efficiency actions that is delaying a projected $1 trillion in consumer savings from reaching the American people,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said.
The AGA said it was “optimistic” DOE’s decision on gas stoves will carry over to other rulemaking on natural gas appliances, including furnaces. The furnace rule “risks outlawing millions of existing gas furnaces and forcing customers to (buy) more expensive and less efficient electric appliances,” Harbert said.
In December, AGA joined other trade associations and a manufacturer in filing a legal challenge to DOE’s new energy conservation standard for consumer furnaces. The rule effectively banned the sale of non-condensing natural gas furnaces and affected 55% of U.S. households. It also saddled American families and businesses with increased costs for little environmental gain, the AGA said.