California Energy Commission Opens New Rulemaking to Revise the Appliance Efficiency Regulations

On September 14th, 2022, the California Energy Commission issued a ruling instituting a rulemaking to amend the Title 20 Appliance Efficiency Regulations. (Docket No. 22-AAER-04)

The Appliance Efficiency Regulations establish energy and water efficiency standards, including efficiency testing requirements, for specified products that are sold or offered for sale in California. (Cal. Code of Regulations, Title 20, Sections 1601-1609.) The list of appliances subject to Title 20 is long, and includes a range of residential and commercial products, such as computers, toilets, pool pumps, traffic signals, and televisions. In addition to meeting the efficiency and testing standards in the regulations, Title 20 appliances must be appropriately marked, certified as meeting the applicable state or federal efficiency standards, and manufacturers must register Title 20 appliances in the Energy Commission’s Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System (MAEDbS).

The Energy Commission enforces these regulations against manufactures and other parties through of process of analyzing appliances it finds are being sold or offered for sale in California to assess whether the products may be in violation of the Appliance Efficiency Regulations. The agency issues letters providing notice that it has found a Title 20 appliance efficiency violation and engages in further fact-finding with the noticed party. The CEC’s enforcement staff recently presented that since November 2015, the office has closed 243 appliance enforcement cases with settlements totaling over $13.4 million.

In the new rulemaking, the Energy Commission will consider changes to Title 20 that:

  1. Align California’s appliance efficiency standards with federal appliance regulations;
  2. Revise the appliance data submission requirements for certain appliances;
  3. Modify enforcement provisions; and
  4. Make other “administrative and clarifying” changes the Energy Commission does not consider as modifying the underlying efficiency standard.

Please contact Samantha Neumyer or Chase Maxwell if you have any questions on the proceeding amending to the Appliance Efficiency Regulations, or if you have other questions regarding compliance with or enforcement of these regulations.