Today marked the last day for the public to comment on the Department of Energy’s proposal to update efficiency standards for gas furnaces. Environment America Research & Policy Center joined other advocates for a media event to urge the Department of Energy to promptly finalize the standards.
By requiring furnaces to use about 15% less energy, the proposed standard would cut 373 million metric tons of carbon emissions over 30 years of sales. That’s the equivalent of taking 80 million gasoline powered vehicles off the road for a year.
The proposed standards will also protect public health. When furnaces burn fossil fuels, they emit nitrogen oxides into our air, causing smog and making asthma and other respiratory problems worse. Children and the elderly are most vulnerable to this type of pollution. By ensuring furnaces use less energy, the proposed standard would prevent 833 thousand tons of nitrogen oxide emissions from getting into our air over 30 years.
More than 18,000 people, many of whom were mobilized by Environment America, took action urging the Department of Energy to update its energy standards for furnaces.
“Turning up the heat in our homes shouldn’t mean turning up pollution,” said Johanna Neumann, a senior director with Environment America Research & Policy Center. “These new energy standards for furnaces would be a meaningful win for people and the planet. I urge the Department of Energy to finalize them promptly.”