Overwhelming Support for Gas Appliances Pushes DOE to Go from Banning 96% of Gas Stoves to Maintaining 97% of the Market 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy today issued a direct final Cooking Products Rule that preserved a majority of gas cooktops for American homes. AGA filed exhaustive comments that resulted in a final rule that stands in stark contrast to its original proposal that would have removed or required alterations to 96% of natural gas cooktops currently on the market. The revised proposal accounts for feedback from American families and businesses, trade associations, and also bipartisan legislation demonstrating Congress found that DOE had exceeded its authority in attempting to restrict access to natural gas appliances with the features consumers desire. 

“DOE’s initial proposal would have removed 96% of natural gas cooktops from the market. AGA engaged heavily throughout this process and was able to flip that ratio to keep 97% of natural gas stoves on the market,” said AGA President and CEO Karen Harbert. “While that is clearly a step in the right direction, AGA remains concerned with DOE’s precedent of establishing efficiency standards with minimal energy savings and just $3 of consumer savings over the lifetime of the appliance.” 

“DOE’s decision makes clear that the department understands they lacked the authority or justification to remove a high percentage of appliances from the market. We appreciate Congress’ willingness to engage in legislation towards this end, hope they will continue to engage, and are optimistic DOE’s newfound recognition will carry over to their other rulemakings on natural gas appliances, including their rule on natural gas furnaces, which risks outlawing millions of existing gas furnaces and forcing customers to more expensive and less efficient electric appliances,” Harbert concluded.  

In December, AGA joined other trade associations and a manufacturer in filing a legal challenge to DOE’s final rule establishing a new energy conservation standard for consumer furnaces. The rule effectively banned the sale of non-condensing natural gas furnaces and affected 55% of U.S. households. It also saddled American families and businesses with increased costs for little environmental gain. 

Energy efficiency is critical to any successful emissions reduction plan and consumer energy affordability. That is why AGA is committed to advancing energy efficiency through smart innovation and commonsense regulations. As an industry leader, the association has advocated for decades on behalf of energy efficiency, including fighting to preserve the ENERGY STAR program. According to the most recent survey conducted by AGA in partnership with the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, natural gas utilities collectively spent nearly $1.6 billion on energy efficiency programs in 2020; a 391 percent increase in spending compared to 2007. This spending resulted in total savings of at least 325 million therms of energy in 2020 alone, or 1.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of driving 4.6 billion miles. 

Read AGA’s response to the furnace rule here