Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Friday, April 3, 2015

New furnace rule

The Department of Energy is proposing new energy efficiency standards for natural gas furnaces that would increase customer costs, energy usage and emissions, the exact opposite of what energy efficiency standards should do.

Atlanta Gas Light Company supports common sense energy policy. However, the DOE proposal would mandate the use of next-generation furnaces that generally work well in new homes. Unfortunately, they are not easily retrofitted into existing homes without a large expense, often $2,000 to $3,000.

DOE’s proposal will push customers to higher cost and higher emissions options, such as inefficient electric heat. An analysis by the American Gas Association and Gas Technology Institute shows customers would see an increase of $44.9 million in energy costs annually. While the goal of this efficiency standard is to reduce harmful emissions, it would add 348,000 tons of CO² emissions per year.

The natural gas industry has a strong track record of supporting energy efficiency efforts in order to save energy and customers’ money. In Georgia, Atlanta Gas Light offers rebates as high as $1,500 to people who convert their appliances to efficient natural gas.

Fortunately the new rules are not set in stone. While the natural gas industry works with Congress to ensure that consumers can make their own choices about home heating, Atlanta Gas Light encourages consumers to voice their views on this important issue with their elected officials.

-- Bryan Batson

President

Atlanta Gas Light

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