DOE Warms to Efficient Furnaces

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy (DOE) released updated efficiency standards for household furnaces that are fossil-fuel-fired today that will result in billions of dollars in energy bill savings and prevention of millions of tons of carbon pollution.

The rule will require new furnaces to meet a minimum efficiency standard of 95 percent efficiency. If adopted within DOE’s proposed timeframe, the new rule will come into effect by 2029.

The following is a statement from Joe Vukovich, energy efficiency advocate at NRDC: 

“We’re long overdue to update outdated furnace technology. This is the first meaningful update to furnace efficiency since 1987 when furnaces were first added to the efficiency standards program. 

“This DOE action will ensure our furnaces are running efficiently, saving U.S. households $1.9 billion annually and eliminating more than 373 million tons of carbon emissions over the next 30 years. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of 94 coal-fired power plants.

“Americans have been forced to rely on antiquated and wasteful furnaces for long enough. Since about half of the homes in the U.S. depend on fossil fuels for space heating, this standard will significantly lower energy bills each year and slash dangerous climate-warming emissions across the nation.”

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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