Tuberville Statement on Senate Passage of Resolution to Overturn Biden Gas Furnaces Rule

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate voted 50-45 to overturn a rule from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that would impose a huge financial burden on Americans trying to affordably heat their homes. The Biden administration’s recently imposed rule bans all non-condensing furnace models and only permits manufacturers to sell furnaces that convert at least 95 percent of fuel into heat, up from the previous threshold of 80 percent. This rule forces a majority of Americans to adopt expensive electric heat pumps, or pay thousands of dollars to renovate their homes to meet the requirements of new residential gas furnaces.

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) in introducing a disapproval resolution under the Congressional Review Act in February. Senator Tuberville issued the following statement about the Senate voting to overturn the gas furnaces rule:

“The gas furnaces rule is just one of the Biden administration’s many attacks on our domestic energy industry. President Biden should be looking for ways to bring costs down—not driving them up. Americans are already struggling to make ends meet in this economy. They do not want to be stuck with the bill for this administration’s woke climate agenda. I’m glad we overturned this rule and hope that President Biden will sign it into law as soon as possible.”


On December 18, 2023, the DOE finalized a rule mandating gas furnaces achieve an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) of 95 percent. The rule prohibits manufacturers from selling furnaces that do not convert at least 95 percent of fuel to heat, a significant increase from the current residential furnace standard of 80 percent. The regulations will remove approximately percent of current residential furnaces from the market, forcing non-condensing furnaces to phase out in 2028. The move would impact nearly 55 percent of American households.

While non-condensing gas furnaces are less efficient, they are far more affordable. Older and smaller homes often lack the appropriate venting required for condensing electrical furnaces. Therefore, households will be forced to retrofit their homes, costing roughly $2,200 for the appropriate venting and $4,500 to replace a furnace. Considering the cost, it may be cheaper for families to transition to electrical heat than modify their homes to accommodate a furnace. 

The DOE’s finalized rule took effect on February 16, 2024, and is an indirect attempt to force consumers to switch from cost-efficient gas furnaces to electric heat pumps. The rule is not economically justified due to the high upfront capital costs and increased operating expenses required for electric heat pumps so consumers can comply.

Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.