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 right – smack dab in the middle of show week! HPBA will ask them to change the date – hopefully DOE will cooperate.

The main requirement of this Rule is to “disallow the use of continuously-burning pilots (i.e., “standing pilots” or “constant burning
pilots”) in hearth products.” This would be a major change for gas log sets, as it is estimated that over 50% of gas log sets are sold with standing pilot safety control systems.

DOE has not established a final definition for “hearth products” yet, but the have stated that a “hearth product is a gas-fired appliance that simulates a solid-fueled fireplace or presents a flame pattern”,
which includes vented decorative hearth products, vented heater hearth products, vented gas logs, gas stoves, outdoor hearth products, and vent-less hearth products. DOE desires to cast the widest net possible with their regulation.

The proposed rule, if adopted, would apply to all hearth products that are manufactured in, or imported into, the United States on and after the date 5 years after the publication of the final rule for this rulemaking.

Stay tuned for more information after we have had time to read and digest this 199 page document. On page 189, DOE states the 23 “Issues on Which DOE Seeks Comment.”

 

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Background

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 ...

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The Threat

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

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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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