The U.S. Department of Energy has sent legislation to Congress that would significantly speed up the process to establish energy efficiency standards.
The proposed legislation requests authority to use a more streamlined rulemaking process for certain products when a clear consensus for a standard exists. DOE would be able to prescribe energy efficiency standards by direct final rule when all relevant interests jointly negotiate and submit an agreed proposed standard.
Use of the proposed expedited rulemaking authority would be limited to circumstances in which, in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, representatives of relevant interests including manufacturers, efficiency advocates, and state officials, negotiate on their own initiative and submit a joint comment to DOE proposing an energy conservation standard for a product.
More than 30 products could be included if legislation is enacted. This includes a variety of home appliances such as refrigerators, central air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, clothes washers and dishwashers; as well as smaller, home equipment including ceiling fans, torchiers, dehumidifiers, and fluorescent and incandescent lights. Also covered, would be plumbing equipment, including showerheads, faucets and toilets. Commercial and industrial products that would be included in the legislation, for example, are commercial conditioners and furnaces, water heaters, commercial refrigerators and freezers and ice cream freezers. Other products include traffic signals and pedestrian control modules.