FTC Announces Comment Period on Right to Repair Rule Change

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened a comment period for a new regulation updating and expanding electronics labeling standards. The proposed rule would require companies to add basic repair information to these labels as well as expanding the list of electronics that require such labels and review how to add EnergyGuide labels to the online shopping experience.

In 1975, Congress passed the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which, among other things, established the Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products. This provision directed the FTC to develop mandatory energy labeling regulations for major appliances, equipment, and lighting. 

In a press release on the FTC’s website, the agency expressed its intent to expand these labeling standards to now require EnergyGuide labels to include information on  the maintenance, use, or repair of the labeled product. In her personal statement, FTC Chair Lina Khan stated that she hopes this additional information will strengthen consumers’ right-to-repair and extend the service life of consumer products.

The new regulation will also add more products that require EnergyGuide labels, including clothes dryers, air purifiers, miscellaneous refrigerator products including wine coolers and combination cooler products, additional light bulbs including low-brightness bulbs, residential ice makers, humidifiers, hearths and outdoor heaters, cooking tops, and electric spas.

Finally, the new rules include a provision requiring the FTC to examine how best to adapt labeling requirements to the online shopping age. While the current rules require labels affixed to products, consumers are conducting more and more of their shopping online. As such the FTC wants to examine how best to include the required EnergyGuide labeling information in online listings.