NPGA urged DOE to repeal its Final Rule on energy conservation standards for Direct Heating equipment as they apply to decorative vented gas fireplaces. The rule now specifies a minimum efficiency requirement for these products where no such requirement previously existed. Further, it arbitrarily imposed a maximum BTU input rate of 9,000 BTUs/Hr below which the efficiency requirement would not apply, but input rate is so low that it effectively bans decorative vented gas fireplaces.
On this, NPGA's comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) were in response to their Request For Information (RFI) published on February 3, 2011. The agency was seeking comments pertaining to the review and analysis of existing significant rules to comply with President Obama's Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulations and Regulatory Review.
NPGA has been working with the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association (HPBA) on this matter and supported similar comments made by HPBA regarding this RFI. HPBA members manufacture decorative gas fireplaces and they will be severely impacted by this DOE final rule.
As HPBA noted and NPGA reiterated in its comments, decorative vented gas fireplaces account for more than 70% of all vented gas fireplaces. DOE's current final rule places into question the viability of this current market.
For a complete copy of our comments and the NPRM, go to NPGA's website and visit our Regulatory Calendar under the members only section. Or, for more information contact Bob Elliott.
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