The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)) contains a list of 19 consumer products that are considered covered products for which the Secretary of Energy is authorized to establish energy conservation standards. EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6292(a)(20) also allows the Department of Energy (DOE) to classify other types of consumer products as covered products if the DOE determines that:

  1. Classifying the products as covered products is necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of EPCA; and
  2. The average annual per-household energy use by products of such type is likely to exceed 100 kWh per year. (42 U.S.C 6292(b)(1)). (For commercial and industrial equipment, see 42 U.S.C. 6311-6312).

If DOE determines preliminarily that a product or equipment type meets the applicable criteria, DOE publishes a proposed determination of coverage in the Federal Register and invites public comments. If DOE publishes a final determination of coverage classifying the product or equipment as covered, DOE may prescribe energy conservation standards if DOE determines that:

  1. The average household energy use of the products has exceeded 150 kilowatt-hours (or its Btu equivalent) per household for any 12-month period ending before such determination;
  2. The aggregate household energy use of the product nationwide has exceeded 4.2 terawatt-hours (or its Btu equivalent) for that 12-month period;
  3. Substantial improvement in energy efficiency is technologically feasible; and
  4. Application of a labeling rule under section 42 USC 6294 is unlikely to be sufficient to induce manufacturers to produce, and consumers and other persons to purchase, covered products of such type (or class) that achieve the maximum energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and economically justified. (42 U.S.C. 6295(l)(1))

To establish any energy conservation standards, DOE would initiate a standards rulemaking.

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