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New Energy Labeling Requirements for Home Heating and Cooling Equipment Under Review

Monday, November 21, 2011
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment by Jan. 10, 2012, on disclosures to help consumers, distributors, contractors and installers determine whether a specific furnace, central air conditioner or heat pump meets the applicable new Department of Energy efficiency standard for the regions where they will be installed. The FTC is particularly interested in comments on the content, location and format of such disclosures.

The new DOE standards are mandated by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Unlike existing DOE standards, which impose uniform, national efficiency levels for heating and cooling equipment, the new efficiency standards for certain products vary by geographic region.

To promote compliance with the new standards, the FTC will develop new labeling or other required disclosures to help consumers and industry members choose and install the correct equipment for their particular location. The FTC’s Appliance Labeling Rule currently requires yellow EnergyGuide labels for heating and cooling equipment that disclose the product’s efficiency rating and a comparison of the highest and lowest ratings for all similar models. The FTC is now soliciting input on how best to develop consumer and industry disclosures regarding the new standards for residential furnaces, central air conditioners and heat pumps, including possible revisions to the current EnergyGuide label.

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