Yesterday the US District Court of Appeals approved a settlement in the long-running Regional Efficiency Standards lawsuit. The settlement was presented to the court in March after more than two years of litigation. Now attention turns to working with the industry partners and the DOE to reform the processes that led to the lawsuit and to find a common-sense solution to enforcing the standard.
As part of the settlement:
- DOE has withdrawn the residential gas furnace standard and will draft a new standard, which will likely not take effect until 2021 or 2022.
- Distributors in the South and Southwest will have 18-months (July 1, 2016) to sell any 13-SEER equipment which is manufactured by the end of 2014.
- DOE has agreed not to assess civil penalty upon distributors as part of the enforcement of the new standard.
What this means is:
- the requirement of 90+% efficient furnaces ONLY in the northern tier of states is no longer required until a new standard can be written.
- The air conditioning standard will still take effect as originally scheduled with Distributors in the South and Southwest having 18-months (July 1, 2016) to sell any 13-SEER equipment which is manufactured by the end of 2014.
DOE will now begin the process for developing an enforcement scheme for the regional standard via a negotiated rulemaking process as well as conducting an evaluation to the regulatory process which led to the lawsuit, both terms of the settlement.
This was just released on the HARDI ADVOCACY ADVISORY web site and this was copied in part, from that site.