DOE Releases Final Process Rule That Addresses Energy Conservation Standards

Advocacy News
January 29, 2020
By Chuck White, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced its intent to publish its Final Rule, “Procedures, Interpretations, and Policies for Consideration of New or Revised Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products,” more commonly called the Process Rule. PHCC has been following this rule and remains supportive of these changes. A summary of the rule clarifies that the DOE will:

  • Establish a threshold for “significant” energy savings at 0.3 quads of site energy over 30 years, or, if less than that amount, a 10 percent improvement over existing standards.
  • Require that DOE establish final test procedures 180 days before proposing a new energy conservation standard rulemaking. 
  • Codify private sector consensus standards for test procedures, as described in the original Process Rule.

The effect of these provisions will stop the DOE from pursuing efficiency level changes for minimal energy savings and force the department to follow established rules that require test procedures to be established before proceeding on efficiency level rules. It also clarifies how the department will honor the Congressional mandate to follow ratings for equipment regulated by ASHRAE 90.1 standards. PHCC applauds the DOE’s efforts to streamline regulatory work and reduce consumer costs related to that regulatory work.

Vice President of Regulatory Affairs
, PHCC-National Association
Charles “Chuck” R. White serves as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for PHCC—National Association. White works closely with government regulatory bodies, such as the DOE, and serves on a number of councils and coalitions including NSPC, PERC, ABPA and IAPMO as a representative of PHCC’s contractors.

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