AP News

Court: Energy rule not needed for faux fireplaces

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has thrown out an Energy Department rule that could have forced decorative fireplaces fueled by natural gas to meet energy efficiency standards.

A divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the rule made no sense, since the appliances — also known as "gas logs" — are specifically designed to minimize the amount of heat generated.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown, writing a 2-1 opinion, said the court holds "DOE's feet to a not-so-decorative fire by vacating the rule in part" and ordering officials to come up with a new rule.

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association says that more than two-thirds of the estimated 6 million gas fireplaces in the U.S. are purely decorative.

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