Energy Dept. agrees to settle standards lawsuit
The U.S. Department of Energy has agreed to withdraw – for now -- its proposal for regional energy-efficiency standards for indoor furnaces.
In a lawsuit settlement filed Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., the government said it would drop its rule mandating different efficiency ratings for most U.S. residential furnaces that was to go into effect May 1. The Energy Department said it initiate a new round of rulemaking and give the HVAC industry another chance to comment.
Rules taking effect in 2015 dealing with new standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps are not affected by the proposal.
The settlement was negotiated by the American Public Gas Association, which sued in 2011 to stop the regulation. HVAC industry groups the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, and the Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International, also joined the case.
HARDI and the ACCA have 10 days to submit their opinions on the settlement before it is accepted or rejected by the court.