The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an Order April 24 granting the unanimous motion of the parties to settle the APGA vs. DOE litigation. The Order vacates the energy conservation standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces set forth in the Direct Final Rule and remands them for notice and comment rulemaking. In addition, under the settlement motion, DOE committed to take the following steps:
1. DOE will issue an enforcement policy statement providing an 18-month period within which it will not seek civil penalties for violations of the regional standards regarding distribution in commerce (including sales by retailers and installation) of 13 SEER central air conditioners in the South or Southwest region if they were manufactured prior to January 1, 2015.
2. DOE will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking for efficiency standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces within one year, and will issue a final rule within two years.
3. Within 90 days, DOE will initiate a negotiated rulemaking regarding the enforcement of regional standards by recommending that the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) establish a working group for that purpose. DOE will also clarify that it will not assert civil penalties over distributors for violations of the regional standard for central air conditioners.
4. DOE will initiate a notice and comment rulemaking proceeding to clarify its process related to the promulgation of Direct Final Rules.
AHRI will continue to update members on this issue as DOE implements its obligations under the settlement agreement.
Source: AHRI Contact: Amy Shepherd