Save Gas Logs!

EPR.TNAThe US Department of Energy proposed a Rule on Feb. 9, 2015, that would prohibit standing pilots on all "Hearth Products", including Gas Logs, five years after final adoption of the Rule. A Public Meeting will be held on Monday, March 23, 2015, at DOE in Washington, DC. Public comments are due by April 10, 2015. Further scrutiny for energy savings would occur every five years, no doubt resulting in further removal of consumer choices and alteration of the appearance and marketability of Hearth Products. Rulemaking of hearth products first started in 2010 with rules, based on egregiously inadequate research and erroneous assumptions about gas logs and their markets, that would have severely altered and restricted the types of gas log sets that could be sold. The Hearth Industry spent over $2.7 million in legal fees to beat the DOE in the DC Court of Appeals. However, on Dec. 31, 2013, DOE started a new rulemaking process that resulted in the Feb. 10 Rule.


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Rasmussen Submits Comments to DOE- 5/11/15

Rasmussen submitted the following comments to DOE (download PDF): Comments submitted by others may be viewed here.

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Rasmussen Testifies at DOE Public Meeting

  On March 23, 2015, during a Public Meeting at DOE’s facility in Washington, D.C., Rett Rasmussen, President of Rasmussen Gas Logs & Grills, provided comments in opposition to the DOE’s Proposed Rulemaking against gas hearth products. Read Rett’s comments. Rett also provided a great deal of input during the day-long meeting. You may read […]

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2/9/15 – DOE Proposes Standing Pilot Ban

On February 9, 2015, the US Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that would abolish standing pilots on all indoor and outdoor Hearth Products five years from the date of final adoption of the Rule. Comments must be submitted to DOE by April 10, 2015. A […]

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1/28/15 – DOE Releases a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Hearth Products

Today, the Department of Energy (DOE) released a pre-publication version of their Proposed Rulemaking for Hearth Product Standards. Here also is the email notice DOE sent out earlier today. Please note that the public meeting DOE scheduled is for March 4th, during the national trade show for the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association. Yep, that’s […]

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Rasmussen Comments Submitted to DOE for Proposed Determination to Coverage

Rasmussen submitted the following comments to DOE (download PDF):

Comments were also submitted by HPBA , AHRI and others.


January 30, 2014

Ms. Brenda Edwards

U.S. Department of Energy

Building Technologies Program, Mailstop EE-2J

Proposed Determination for Hearth Products


1000 Independence Avenue SW

Washington, D.C. 20585-0121


Re: Proposed Determination of Coverage

Docket No. EERE-2013-BT-DET-0057


Dear Ms. Edwards:


Rasmussen Iron Works, Inc., also known as Rasmussen Gas Logs & Grills, is a five generation family business, founded in 1907. Rasmussen has been manufacturing gas log sets for installation into woodburning fireplaces since 1958. We make vented sets ranging from 12” to 96” set sizes, with a variety of burner, log and lighting control styles. We are one of the oldest manufacturers of vent-free gas log sets. We have served on numerous ANSI standard technical committees and are members of the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Vent-free Gas Products Alliance (VFGPA), National Chimney Sweep Guild (NCSG) and American Society of Gas Engineers (ASGE).


In the immortal words of Yogi Berra “it’s like déjá vu all over again.” DOE is revisiting hearth products, an area in which DOE has already proved they know very little and for which this new rulemaking proves DOE has learned nothing more since its attempts to regulate them in 2010 and 2011. The hearth industry, made up mostly of small manufacturers, spent $2.7 million in legal fees to ultimately prevail at the DC Court of Appeals against DOE. While this may seem an insignificant sum to our behemoth federal government, this is a tremendous loss of resources that could have otherwise been better spent in creating jobs, training staff, purchasing equipment and improving product offerings that would have been of benefit to both the hearth industry and our national economy. Now we are faced with another ill-informed, but broader, attack on our industry by an adversary with unlimited resources yet abundant ignorance and supreme arrogance. My only hope in the survival of my 106 year-old, five generation family business is that truth and reason will win out over agendas driven by misinformation and a strident desire to regulate that which needs no regulation.


DOE states that this proposed determination sets no standards, but only positively determines that future standards may be warranted and should be explored in the future. Forgive me if I don’t share any comfort from this. This whole process is a big slippery slope that will do more harm than good. I foresee death by a thousand cuts, sapping my ability to focus on my business, expending funds to needlessly fight my government and protect my business, and limiting the products my company has been making for more than fifty years. This is all in the name of conserving natural gas, an energy source for which our country is in glut and finding increasingly more sources daily. Such a waste of finite resources, those being the expenditures of time and money by both government and private industry, should be avoided by DOE withdrawing this extremely flawed rulemaking.


Your definition of “Hearth Product” is a “kitchen sink” approach. DOE has lumped so many products together, but without naming many of them so as to be able to regulate products that DOE is not currently aware. There ought to be a law against this, if there isn’t already, and the non-specific nature of your definition yearns for this Proposed Determination to be placed immediately into the trash bin with other stupid government ideas.


DOE’s tentative determination “that the average input capacity of hearth products is 35,000 BTU/h” bespeaks a total lack of knowledge and understanding for not just the wide variety of type of hearth products available on the market, but also each one’s unique position in the marketplace. Put more simply, not all hearth products are created, or used, alike, and to lump them together into one category for regulation is as offensive as lumping all people into one category and treating them all the same because of the “average” IQ or weight or BMI. The DOE definition is too simplistic as a basis for any type of regulation, efficiency or performance standards.


For example, the vented gas log sets we make range in extreme sizes from 12” to 96” because of the extreme variety of sizes of woodburning fireplaces that consumers, hospitality, school and commercial properties have on their premises. Vented gas log sets are purchased as a convenient, clean burning and safe option to burning wood. Larger fireplaces will require more gas to provide a flame that approximates that of a wood fire. Conversely, small fireplaces require less gas to create an attractive look.


Vented gas log sets are not proper for coverage under any DOE regulation because their efficiency is dependent on the efficiency of the fireplace into which they are installed, a condition out of the control of the gas log manufacturer.


DOE states on Page 14 that they identified only 16 domestic, small manufacturers of hearth products. This is laughable and shows a serious flaw in DOE’s research and credibility. HPBA lists 28 manufacturers just of gas log sets, just about all of them employers of 500 or fewer workers. Add to this the whole kitchen sink of products DOE has identified, as well as those to be named later, and you have a significantly greater impact on people’s lives, livelihood, investments and future than DOE has identified with their shoddy, haphazard and shameful research.


I also take umbrage with DOE’s assertion on Page 15 that “the propose determination, if adopted, would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” DOE must have been laughing when they wrote this. The hearth industry is just about all small entities, but not just manufacturers. DOE has not taken into consideration the thousands of dealers across this whole country, all of them small businesses, most of them family businesses, that would be adversely affected by the change in products that DOE regulation would inevitably bring about. And there are also the suppliers, the installers, the transporters, and many more people that will be adversely affected by a stupid, ill thought out regulation or series of regulations.


DOE appears to be in violation of Executive Order 13563 signed by Pres. Obama on January 18, 2011. “Sec. 2. Public Participation” states “Regulations shall be adopted through a process that involves public participation.  To that end, regulations shall be based, to the extent feasible and consistent with law, on the open exchange of information and perspectives among State, local, and tribal officials, experts in relevant disciplines, affected stakeholders in the private sector, and the public as a whole.” It also states “Before issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (emphasis added), each agency, where feasible and appropriate, shall seek the views of those who are likely to be affected, including those who are likely to benefit from and those who are potentially subject to such rulemaking.” However, there is absolutely no public documentation of any attempt by DOE to comply with this Executive Order by our current President:


1) The docket at!docketDetail;D=EERE-2013-BT-DET-0057 has no supporting documentation other than the DOE’s Pre-Publication Notice. Nothing at all was uploaded in support of DOE’s efforts to create this rulemaking.


2) I should be known to DOE as both an expert and affected stakeholder for this rulemaking. During Doe’s last rulemaking attempt, I submitted comments both in writing and in person at the DOE’s public meeting on September 1, 2011.  I created and run a website that documented the events of DOE’s last rulemaking. In a Google search of “gas log manufacturers”, my website is the #1 result. My company is a founding member of the HPBA, we are listed in their directory, and I am currently serving on its Board of Directors. Yet, neither I, nor any of my staff, have been contacted by DOE. Not at all! By the way, I was never consulted during the previous rulemaking, either. Why is DOE not performing proper due diligence required by the Executive Order?


3) Speaking of the Docket, the dates on which you published the Pre-Publication Notice (December 24, 2013, Christmas Eve) and the actual Proposed Determination (December 31, 2013, New Year’s Eve) could only have been selected by you to reduce the reaction time available to those who would be most affected by the rule, another clear violation of the intent of the Executive Order. DOE has attempted to rule the clock by strategic publishing, which implies nefarious intent and the creation of an adversarial relationship with the industry you wish to regulate. For shame!

DOE docket_013014


Speaking of due diligence, on Page 11 of the Proposed Determination, almost all of the citations for DOE’s justifications for coverage come from “Frequently Asked Questions” from a few obscure sources. Although the citation says they came from “manufacturing websites”, the truth is that all but one of the seven websites is from a manufacturer of hearth products (Heatilator). The others are a 1997 study conducted by the Gas Research Institute; a testing/listing agency; a consulting company; Natural Resources Canada, a website sponsored by the Government of Canada; a dealer from Pittsburgh, PA; a dealer from Burleson, TX; and a dealer in Kent, WA.  This is shoddy, misleading, incomplete and shameful “research”, and more of the same I came to expect from the last rulemaking by DOE. A .142 batting average would not keep you in anyone’s game, yet DOE is using this deplorable excuse for research as a basis for regulating an entire industry. Shame on DOE for perpetuating this low level of professionalism and for continuing to waste taxpayer money and time in a new attempt at rulemaking.


I hope and pray that DOE, or some other adult supervision, will withdraw this ill conceived, poorly researched rulemaking immediately before jobs and the economic interests of stakeholders are affected.





Rett Rasmussen

Vice President

They’re Baaaaack!!! DOE Threatens Gas Logs Again

On December 24, 2013, (yes, on Christmas Eve), the US Department of Energy (DOE) posted a pre-publication notice entitled “Proposed Determination of Hearth Products as a Covered Consumer Product.” The rulemaking seeks to
establish “coverage” over essentially all gas hearth products; there are no energy standards directly proposed or put into place by this proposed determination, but DOE does indicate that adoption would be seen as “positively determin[ing] that future standards may be warranted and
should be explored in subsequent energy conservation standards and test procedure rulemakings.”

On December 31, 2013 (yes, New Year’s Eve), DOE published the actual notice of “Proposed Determination of Hearth Products as a Covered Consumer Product.” This publication started the 30-day comment period. How nice of them to do so over a holiday period, which effectively shortened the comment period by the New Year’s Holiday. Such cooperation by our government!

Deadline for Reconsideration Passes – 3/26/13

The Department of Energy needed to submit a motion for reconsideration by March 25, 2013, but they chose not to do so. Accordingly, the DC Court of Appeals rulings stands. The Hearth industry’s victory stands as originally ruled.

Wall Street Journal Article – 2/12/13

WSJCourt Snuffs Out Rule on Fake Fireplaces


WASHINGTON—The Department of Energy’s push to make gas-log fireplaces use less energy has flamed out, at least temporarily, after a court decision that will force the agency to rewrite efficiency rules.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in a 2-1 decision, threw out rules adopted in 2011 to regulate faux hearths—household products that simulate a wood fire with artificial logs and a natural-gas flame. On Monday, an Department of Energy spokeswoman declined to say whether the Obama administration will try again with new rules after the appeals court decision, which was released Friday.

“We hold DOE’s feet to a not-so-decorative fire,” wrote Judge Janice Rogers Brown for the majority. She wrote that the department needed to do more homework in order to justify efficiency standards on “decorative” fireplaces.

The department had said that the 1987 National Appliance Energy Conservation Act allowed it to regulate fireplaces “designed to furnish warm air,” including products designed to heat up a room and “decorative” models designed primarily for aesthetics. To placate manufacturers, the department excluded decorative products from the strictest part of the 2011 rule.

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, an industry group, sued anyway, saying the rule still illegally imposed requirements on decorative products.

“We are gratified that the court agreed that the Department of Energy overstepped its bounds in regulating these products,” said Jack Goldman, the group’s president.

The ruling left the door open to future regulations. The majority opinion said the agency could regulate decorative products, not as heating devices but separately under the 1987 law. In that case, the department would have to justify the rule by analyzing the products’ energy use and improvements manufacturers could feasibly make.

Judge A. Raymond Randolph dissented, saying the Department of Energy acted mostly correctly when it exempted decorative fireplaces from the law’s main restrictions.

Rett Rasmussen, whose company, Rasmussen Iron Works Inc. of Whittier, Calif., makes decorative fireplace sets, said he hoped the ruling was the “final word” on the matter.

If the department does move forward with new rules, “we are going to protect ourselves and protect what rights we have under the law,” he said. “I hope that they do so in a much more thought-out and more measured way.”

Gas Logs Saved! Court Rules In Our Favor.

We Win!

DC Court of Appeals Rules for Fireplace Industry

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sided with the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and its Gas Logs and Fireplace manufacturing members in their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy in a ruling released today. (Read the full text: DC Court of Appeals Ruling)

Industry had challenged two Final Rules issued by DOE in 2011 that imposed severe restrictions on Vented Decorative Hearth products and which would have greatly altered their appearance, performance and, ultimately, their appeal to consumers, all in a negative way. We filed a lawsuit to protect our interests while attempting to negotiate an outcome that would have been more beneficial to all parties.

In late 2011 we were able to convince DOE to remove gas logs from their rules regarding eliminating standing pilots and other restrictions. However, DOE kept the door open for future regulation by defining gas logs as “Vented Hearth Heaters.” Other provisions regarding Vented Decorative Fireplaces were to take effect on April 16, 2013, and would have except for this ruling, as negotiations had gone nowhere.

This ruling by the DC Court of Appeals appears to have closed that door by throwing out the regulatory definition of “Vented Hearth Heater” and by invalidating the two DOE Final Rules issued in 2011. However, government being what it is in this era of over-reaching regulation, DOE may still appeal this ruling, or respond with new regulations. We will remain ever vigilant in responding to any further attempts by DOE to impose regulations that are beyond their regulatory jurisdiction, or which do not serve the public or industry.

But today, we are thankful for the reprieve afforded by this ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Sign the Petition


How did we get here? What is the basis for the US Department of Energy's assault on gas logs? Here is the background information ...


The Threat

The US Department of Energy Proposed Rule would harm the market for gas logs, and severely limit consumer choice ...



We're fighting for the survival of vented gas logs against the US Government, and we need all the help we can get. Here is what you can do to help save gas logs ...


Fallacy of ‘”Decorative” 9000 BTU

900 btu

With the stroke of a pen, the US Department of Energy declared that (as of July 1, 2011), a gas log set must not consume more that 9000 BTU/hour to be termed "decorative". If it consumes more gas than that, it must meet efficiency ratings for which no testing methodogy exists. Watch this video where Rett Rasmussen illustrates the fallacy of 9000 BTU/Hour being "decorative."

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