Department of Energy: Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces and Boilers, GAO-08-356R, December 19, 2007
Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A)
of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a major rule promulgated
by the Department of Energy (DOE), entitled “Energy Conservation Program for
Consumer Products: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Furnaces and
Boilers” (RIN: 1904-AA78). We received
the rule on
The final rule revises the energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and boilers. DOE has determined that the revised standards will result in significant conservation of energy, are technologically feasible, and are economically justified.
The final rule is effective on
Enclosed is our assessment of the DOE’s compliance with the procedural steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our review indicates that, except for the delay in the effective date, DOE complied with the applicable requirements.
If you have any questions about this report, please contact Michael R. Volpe, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8236. The official responsible for GAO evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rule is Robert Robinson, Managing Director, Natural Resources and Environment. Mr. Robinson can be reached at (202) 512-3841.
Robert J. Cramer
Associate General Counsel
Attorney, Office of Assistant
Legislation and Regulatory Law
Department of Energy
REPORT UNDER 5 U.S.C. sect. 801(a)(2)(A) ON A MAJOR
ISSUED BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
"ENERGY CONSERVATION PROGRAM FOR CONSUMER PRODUCTS:
ENERGY CONSERVATION STANDARDS FOR
RESIDENTIAL FURNACES AND BOILERS"
(i) Cost-benefit analysis
DOE estimates that the economic impacts on consumers from the final rule (i.e., the average life-cycle cost savings) are positive. DOE estimates the impact of the revised standards on the residential furnace and boiler industry to be between a 4.0-percent loss and a 2.7-percent loss (-$74 million to -$48 million). Based on DOE’s interviews with the major manufacturers of residential furnaces and boilers, DOE estimates minimal plant closings or loss of employment as a result of the revised standards. DOE estimates the revised standards will save approximately 0.25 quads of energy over 24 years. DOE concludes that the benefits of the standards (energy savings, consumer savings, national net present value increases, and emissions reductions) to the Nation outweigh their costs.
(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 603-605, 607, and 609
DOE certified that both the proposed and final rules would “have no significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities” and, therefore, did not prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.
(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. sections 1532-1535
DOE determined that the final rule does not contain either an intergovernmental or private sector mandate, as defined in Title II, of more than $100 million (currently adjusted for inflation to $122 million) in any one year.
(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 551 et seq.
DOE published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking
(ANOPR) in the Federal Register on
Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. sections 3501-3520
DOE states that the final rule imposes no new information or recordkeeping requirements.
Statutory authorization for the rule
The final rule is promulgated under authority provided in the Energy Policy and Conversation Act (EPCA) as amended, 42 U.S.C. sections 6291-6309. EPCA directed DOE to consider amending the energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and boilers, 42 U.S.C. sect. 6295(f)(3)(B). EPCA also states that any amended standard must be designed to “achieve the maximum improvement in energy efficiency . . . which the Secretary determines is technologically feasible and economically justified.” 42 U.S.C. sect. 6295(o)(2)(A). The final rule is also promulgated under authority provided in 28 U.S.C. sect. 2461 note.
Executive Order No. 12,866
The final rule was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget and found to be an “economically significant” regulatory action under the order.
Executive Order No. 13,132 (Federalism)
DOE states that the final rule will not have a substantial direct effect on the states, on the relationship between the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government.