FTC Seeks Public Comment on Energy Labels for Home Heating and Cooling Equipment

For Your Information

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comment on new energy labeling requirements for residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps, to help consumers and businesses install equipment appropriate for their location under the Department of Energy's new regional efficiency standards.

The new DOE standards are mandated by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007), which also directs the FTC to determine how energy efficiency information should be communicated to consumers, such as through labeling. Unlike existing DOE standards, which impose uniform, national efficiency levels for heating and cooling equipment, the new efficiency standards for certain products vary by 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 seeks public comment 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.

The Commission vote approving the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was 5-0. It is available on the FTC's website and as a link to this press release and will be published in the Federal Register soon. Instructions for filing comments appear in the Federal Register Notice. Comments must be received by January 10, 2012. All comments received will be posted at www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. (FTC File No. P114202; the staff contact is Hampton Newsome, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2889)

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC's online Complaint Assistant or call
1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC's website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(Energy Labeling - Furnace, AC)

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