WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today finalized Congressionally-mandated energy efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces that will slash household utility costs by $1.5 billion annually and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These standards, which take effect late 2028, require non-weatherized gas furnaces and those used in mobile homes to achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 95 percent, conserving energy and improving residential heating. DOE expects these standards to cumulatively save consumers $24.8 billion on their energy bills over 30 years and cut harmful carbon and methane emissions that fuel the climate crisis. Today’s announcement underscores the Biden-Harris Administration’s continued efforts to lower utility bills for American families, increase energy independence and promote healthier, safer communities for the American people.
“At the direction of Congress, DOE is continuing to review and finalize energy standards for household appliances, such as residential furnaces, to lower costs for working families by reducing energy use and slashing harmful pollutants in homes across the nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Today’s measure, along with this Administration’s past and planned energy efficiency actions, underscores President Biden’s commitment to save Americans money and deliver healthier communities.”
These furnace efficiency standards were last updated in 2007. With these modernized standards, starting in late 2028, residential gas furnaces will provide an annual fuel utilization efficiency of at least 95 percent—reducing waste by converting nearly all of the gas used into heat for the living space. This standard is readily achievable by modern condensing furnaces, which use secondary heat exchangers to capture excess heat from the furnace’s exhaust gases.
As of 2022, residential gas furnaces account for approximately 19 percent of annual residential energy use in the United States. DOE expects that updating efficiency standards for these appliances will, over 30 years, cut carbon emissions by 332 million metric tons (roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 42 million homes, or approximately 34 percent of homes in the United States) and cut methane emissions by 4.3 million tons (an amount equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 14 million homes or roughly 29 coal plants).
With this final standard, DOE has now issued proposed or final efficiency standards for 24 product categories so far this year—actions critical to carrying out Congressional direction for energy savings while improving reliability and performance across household appliances and commercial and industrial equipment.
Collectively, DOE’s past and planned energy efficiency actions under the Biden-Harris Administration will save Americans $570 billion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.4 billion metric tons cumulatively over 30 years, supporting the President’s ambitious efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
In addition to lowering costs through improved energy standards, DOE also launched the Energy Savings Hub to help American families and consumers access the savings tools that President Biden’s Investing in America agenda has made available to drastically cut utility bills. To learn how to upgrade to cleaner and more efficient appliances and keep money in your pocket, visit www.Energy.gov/Save.
DOE’s Building Technologies Office implements minimum energy conservation standards for more than 60 categories of appliances and equipment. To learn more, visit the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program homepage.