Groups Call on Biden to Finalize Furnace Standards to Cut Bills, Emissions


Contact: Ben Somberg, 202-658-8129,

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Washington, DC—Consumer, climate, and environmental advocates—together with state governments and thousands of concerned individuals—called on the Biden administration today to promptly finalize furnace efficiency standards it proposed this year. The pending plan from the Department of Energy (DOE) comes as the Biden administration works to meet its ambitious climate goals—and as households face challenging home heating costs

Groups calling on the administration today to finalize the plan include

  • Consumer and energy affordability organizations (comment)
  • Climate and environmental advocates (comment)
  • Energy efficiency advocates (technical comment)
  • State governments (comment)

More than 18,000 individuals across the nation submitted comments to DOE supporting the proposal, according to Environment America and Public Citizen, whose members took action. Today is the final day for stakeholders to submit comments to DOE.

By requiring all new furnaces to use 15% less energy—using proven technology—the DOE standard would

  • Cut average annual home heating bills for consumers replacing an inefficient furnace by about $60 per year
  • By mid-century, be cutting carbon emissions by an amount equivalent to shutting off 27 gas power plants
  • Avert 833 thousand tons of harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) over 30 years of sales.

“These standards will reduce heating costs for low-income families so that nobody has to choose between groceries and their power bill,” said Berneta Haynes, staff attorney at National Consumer Law Center. “The department has a good plan here that will reduce heating costs for low-income consumers, especially renters, providing much-needed relief for struggling families. We’ve been waiting a long time for this moment. So I urge the administration to get this rule finalized promptly.”

“We’re long overdue to update outdated furnace technology. Americans have relied on antiquated and wasteful furnaces for long enough,” said Joe Vukovich, energy efficiency advocate at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “Since about half of the homes in the U.S. depend on fossil fuels for space heating, this standard will significantly lower energy bills each year and slash dangerous climate-warming emissions across the nation.”

“Turning up the heat in our homes shouldn’t mean turning up pollution,” said Johanna Neumann, a senior director with Environment America Research & Policy Center. “These new energy standards for furnaces would be a meaningful win for people and the planet. I urge the Department of Energy to finalize them promptly.”

Ruth Ann Norton, president and CEO of Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, said: "Hazardous air conditions in dense cities have led to disproportionately higher rates of chronic conditions such as heart disease and respiratory disease in low-income and Black and Brown communities. Increasing furnace efficiency standards will have direct health benefits for American families, particularly in low-income and vulnerable communities.”

“We face an enormous climate challenge today and at the same time we know many Americans struggle to afford their utility bills. We can’t continue to keep putting inefficient new furnaces into homes, especially when they’ll be used for years or decades to come,” said Kanchan Swaroop, technical advocacy associate, Appliance Standards Awareness Project. “It is critical for the Biden Administration to move promptly to finalize this standard.”