A U.S. appeals court Monday ruled against an HVAC manufacturer group it its attempt to throw out the Energy Department’s 2014 efficiency standards and testing procedures for commercial refrigeration equipment.
The 7th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals said the government was proper in its rule making and the final regulations, which boosted the efficiency of items such as walk-in freezers and refrigerators about 30 percent above 2009 levels. The new rules take effect next year.
"We are disappointed in the court's ruling, as well as the court taking nearly a year after oral argument to issue a decision," said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, which represents most of the major North American manufacturers of HVAC equipment. "Our members must now comply with the efficiency standard by March 27, 2017."
AHRI member and refrigeration display case maker Zero Zone Inc. filed the lawsuit in 2014. In its supporting briefs, the association said the government did not follow its own procedures and the analysis it used to arrive at the standards was critically deficient.
“Issuing a test procedure after efficiency standards is a backwards way of handling rules and makes it difficult for manufacturers to understand the impact of the new standards and to design equipment to comply with those standards, all while continuing to meet the needs of consumers," Yurek said.
He urged Congress to update the 40-year-old Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which gives the Department of Energy much of its authority.
"We will continue our efforts to work with DOE to ensure that our members are able to comply with these rules while continuing to plan for the future of their businesses, including providing jobs and quality products to millions of people around the country," Yurek added.