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HPBA Staff and Members Attend DOE Hearing

HPBA Staff and Members Attend DOE Hearing

On September 1, 2011 the Department of Energy (DOE) held a public meeting on its July 22, 2011 proposed rule that would regulate decorative vented gas fireplaces and log sets.  HPBA opposes the proposal because DOE continues to improperly and illegally classify decorative vented gas fireplaces as "direct heating equipment" (DHE), and now also includes vented gas log sets as DHE, despite gas logs having been expressly excluded from the definition in the April 2010 final rule.  In doing so, DOE has proposed to require that gas log sets (a) be certified to Z21.60, (b) do not have a thermostat (and the aftermarket addition of a thermostat would invalidate the warranty), (c) are not marketed as heaters, and have a statement to that effect on their rating plates, and (d) do not have standing pilot lights.

During the public meeting, HPBA staff and member companies opposed the proposal and asked that DOE immediately terminate the rulemaking due to the total lack of technical support documents, analysis, or supporting materials in the public record, as required by law.  HPBA member companies appearing at the public meeting included Empire Comfort Systems, R.H. Peterson Company and Rasmussen Gas Logs & Grills.  Comments were also submitted by Big Woods Hearth Products, Inc. and Lennox Hearth Products.  HPBA's allied associations, the American Gas Association (AGA), National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), also participated in the meeting and voices similar concern and opposition.  After pressing DOE officials on a number of issues, HPBA and other participants received what amounted to a series of "no comment" responses from DOE on all questions.

Below are the comments presented in person by HPBA staff and member companies:

Comments submitted for the record by HPBA member companies:

DOE's Transcript of the Meeting:

Comments may be submitted to the DOE as late as October 14, 2011. Please follow these directions when filing comments.

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