The Energy Department for the first time may modify its appliance and equipment energy conservation standards program by adding a market-based mechanism similar to fuel standards for automakers, according to the spring 2017 regulatory agenda.

In its spring regulatory agenda, the department said it is evaluating whether to use “some of a market-based approach such as an averaging, trading, fee-base, or other type of market-based policy mechanism” for the program.

The energy regulatory agenda focuses largely on Energy...