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DOE considers waiver process for hot water heater standards; will take comments until April 29

From the March 1, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published March 1, 2013

By Jeannine Anderson

In response to the concerns raised by a power industry coalition that included APPA and individual public power utilities, the Department of Energy has given notice that it will consider establishing a waiver process to mitigate utilities' concerns about new energy conservation standard levels for certain large-volume electric storage water heaters.

DOE on Feb. 26 published a notice of proposed rulemaking that outlines how the waiver process would work. A public meeting is scheduled for March 15 to discuss the proposed rulemaking, and the Energy Department will take comments on it until April 29.

DOE said it issued the notice of proposed rulemaking as a response to comments from the electric power industry on a 2010 rule that tightens efficiency standards for  hot water heaters. APPA and others said the 2010 rule would effectively eliminate the use of electric resistance water heaters in residential and commercial buildings. (See APPA, others urge DOE to withdraw draft proposal on water heaters, Public Power Daily, Oct. 29, 2012.)

The Department of Energy "has done the right thing in trying to address the issues created by the 2010 water heaters rule," said APPA Energy & Environmental Services Manager Alex Hofmann. "Significant efficiency can be added to the electric system by allowing electric resistance water heaters in utility demand-response programs."

More information on the DOE rule and the proposed rulemaking on waivers is posted on DOE's website.

APPA plans to submit comments and encourages member utilities affected by the rule to submit comments as well. Anyone who would like to discuss this issue is invited to get in touch with Alex Hofmann.


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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

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Fallon W. Forbush

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David L. Blaylock

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Laura D’Alessandro