The federal government’s latest crackdown on insulating products isn’t a new one.
The agency has been cracking down on the so-called “insulation industry” since 2009, when the Obama administration put a $100 million bounty on companies who failed to meet requirements to install insulation on their buildings.
But the new regulations, issued last month, have taken a different approach to insulating.
Insulation companies now must install insulation, rather than just cover up the damage, and they have to make sure they are using all available materials to do so.
They also must comply with the requirements to pay back all federal and state government costs associated with insulating their buildings, including for the cost of installing insulation.
And if they fail to comply, the penalties for noncompliance can skyrocket, as can fines.
The new regulations have raised eyebrows from both sides of the aisle.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., criticized the regulations, saying that while they may seem “reasonable,” they “are in fact draconian.”
“In this industry, it’s very important that people do their job,” Upton said.
“You can’t say you’re going to be responsible for this.”
However, Upton said he is “committed to ensuring that all Americans have access to safe, secure and affordable insulation.”
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2017.
He called the regulations a “tough new policy” but said they should not cause consumers to think that insulating is easy.
The rules have sparked criticism from many quarters, particularly in the energy sector, which is a major source of insulation used in homes, cars and other vehicles.
Insulating roofs, for example, can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is the agency responsible for enforcing the rules.
In its announcement on Tuesday, the agency said the rules would be in place for three years.
“These regulations were developed to ensure that all the insulation manufacturers meet all the required standards and that consumers are protected against the risk of fire and damage to their homes and businesses,” the agency wrote.
“While some insulating manufacturers may have failed to provide the required information, these insulating companies will be held accountable for complying with the rules.”
Insulation firms that fail to meet the standards will be subject to fines of up to $100 for each day that the failure continues.
In addition, the FERC said, insulating requirements that were previously in place may be repealed or modified by the agency at any time.
“In addition, if an insulating manufacturer does not meet the requirements, then the agency may take enforcement action against the manufacturer,” the FRC said.
Under the new rules, insulators will have to install a minimum of three times as many insulating layers per unit of floor area as current insulating standards, or 1,000 to 1,500 layers per square foot.
The FERC has the authority to impose fines of $25 per violation and a $2,000 penalty per day for non-compliance.
Insulated buildings must have a minimum number of floors per building.
Insulators must have minimum insulation for roofs and other structures and no less than 10 percent of the roof must be insulated.
Insulator manufacturers that do not meet requirements must install a total of 30 percent of their roofs with insulations, or at least one third of the roofs.
The regulations will apply to Insulated Roofing, Insulated Landscape Insulation, Insulation and Other Insulation products.
The regulation does not apply to insulation used on structures.
The final rule will go into effect July 1, 2020.