Energy Conservation Standards for Consumer Products – More Information

Click here to return to our primary page on energy conservation standards for consumer products, with the current status and discussion of why this rule matters. 

History

In August 2016, DOE issued its semi-annual report to Congress, describing recently published and upcoming efficiency standards. DOE has published a report every six months since the Energy Policy Act of 2005 first required this.

In December 2016 the Obama administration DOE posted final energy efficiency standards for uninterruptible power supplies, walk-in freezers, portable air conditioners, compressors, and commercial boilers. DOE then had 45 days to publish a confirmation of effective date of these standards in the federal register, which would finalize them, but the Trump administration DOE failed to do so for each of these.

On January 6, 2017, DOE posted final energy efficiency standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. DOE then had 45 days to publish a confirmation of effective date of these standards in the federal register, which would finalize them, but failed to do so.

On January 19, 2017, DOE posted final energy efficiency standards for ceiling fans. DOE then had 45 days to publish a confirmation of effective date of these standards in the federal register, which would finalize them, but failed to do so.

Trump Era

January 31, 2017 — DOE published notice in the Federal Register that it was delaying the final ceiling fan standard effective date for 60 days in order to review the rule. On the same day, DOE published notice that it was delaying the walk-in freezer standards effective date to March 21, 2017. 

March 21, 2017 —  DOE further delayed the walk-in freezer effective date to June 26, 2017.

March 31, 2017 — Nine states, New York City, and a Pennsylvania regulator petitioned the Second Circuit over the Trump Administration’s failure to finalize the ceiling fan efficiency standards.

April 3, 2017 — coalition of environmental groups notified DOE they would sue in 60 days over its failure to finalize standards for compressors, uninterruptible power supplies, walk-in coolers and freezers, portable air conditioners, and commercial packaged boilers

June 13, 2017  —  Washington, California, and nine other states petitioned the US District Court for the Northern District of California over DOE’s failure to finalize efficiency standards for portable air conditioners, air compressors, commercial boilers, walk-in freezers, and uninterruptible power supplies. A coalition of environmental groups also filed suit over these same standards on this day.

May 24, 2017 — DOE published notice that it would finalize the original ceiling fan rule, including original effective dates, without change.

May 26, 2017 — DOE announced it would finalize the standards and set compliance dates residential central air conditioners and heat pumps.

July 10, 2017 — DOE finalized standards for walk-in freezers.

DOE did not appear to publish its required semi-annual reports on efficiency standards in February or August of 2017.

November 28, 2017 —  DOE issued a request for information and notice of public meeting. Citing Executive Orders 13771 (Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs) and 13777 (Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda), DOE seeks “comments and information from interested parties to assist DOE in identifying potential modifications to its ‘Process Rule’ for the development of appliance standards.” The public meeting was held on January 9, 2018. The comment period for this was open until March 5, 2018.

November 28, 2017 — DOE issued a request for information on an evaluation of “the potential advantages and disadvantages of additional flexibilities” in the appliance energy efficiency standards program. They expressed particular interest in market-based options. This comment period has closed.

February 15, 2018  —  The US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled DOE must publish standards for portable air conditioners, air compressors, commercial packaged boilers, and uninterruptible power supplies within 28 days, then gave them another 28 days on March 14, 2018 so they could file a new motion to claim harm to manufacturers or file for a stay from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

August 8, 2018 — The Trump administration has submitted a proposed rule revising energy efficiency standards for light bulbs to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. The Obama administration adopted energy-use requirements for incandescent bulbs used in track and recessed lighting, bathroom vanities and decorative fixtures like chandeliers. Incandescent light bulbs are less energy efficient than LED bulbs and last about one year compared with 10 years or longer for LED bulbs.

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