DOE Recommendations Echo AGA Suggestions for Smart Energy Use
Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) has held discussions with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the best way to utilize our abundant natural resources to increase energy affordability, enhance national security and protect our environment. Many of these recommendations are included in the “Final Report on Regulatory Review under Executive Order 13783” issued on October 24, 2017.
“AGA has a long history of working closely with DOE and we respect the service and dedication of its federal employees. We are supportive of DOE and the efforts of its Regulatory Reform Task Force to identify areas ripe for reform and make thoughtful recommendations for how to improve the efficiency and transparency of its responsibilities while reducing burdensome regulations and requirements,” said Kathryn Clay, Vice President, Policy for the American Gas Association.
The following are areas where Task Force recommendations meet with the mission of America’s natural gas utilities to deliver clean energy to their customers safely, reliably and affordably:
- Review of DOE Appliance Standards Program: AGA supports updating the processes and procedures by which DOE sets minimum energy efficiency standards for covered appliances and equipment. We have made exceptional progress in energy efficiency, even nearing maximum efficiency levels for many appliances. AGA supports DOE’s efforts to examine regulatory actions that can make the standards setting process more efficient and less burdensome for all stakeholders.
- DOE’s Process Rule: This seemingly straightforward rule has been ignored in recent years, causing added ambiguity in recent efficiency standards. DOE is right to focus on improving the Process Rule and issuing a Request for Information to solicit additional stakeholder feedback is a sensible step in the right direction.
- Serial Rule-Makings: The requirement for DOE to review efficiency standards every six years - a statutory requirement - is overly burdensome and unnecessary. AGA supports amending the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to make changes in statute and applauds the Department for seeking out regulatory actions that can help ease this burden in the meantime.
- Early in the report, DOE mentions it will review agency actions concerning fossil fuel consumption in Federal buildings. We believe DOE is referring to the requirement to phase out fossil fuel use in new federal buildings by 2030. DOE recognizes that this unmanageable and costly requirement is at odds with the current executive order to reduce regulations that obstruct the use of domestic energy resources.
The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 73 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 69 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than one-fourth of the United States' energy needs.