Court Accepts Settlement Agreement, Ends Lawsuit Over Regional Standards


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The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an order today accepting a settlement agreement thereby ending the legal challenge of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2011 rules that setting new minimum energy conservation standards for a variety of residential HVAC products, including regional standards for furnaces and central air conditioners.

ACCA was one of several parties of record in this case.

ACCA created a detailed explanation of the settlement and its impact on contractors. That document is available to download here by ACCA members only (login required).

On April 25 at 2pm Eastern, ACCA will conduct a live, online briefing on the regional standards issue for its members. Members will receive emailed instructions to access the webcast and participate in the discussion.​

“We are thankful that the Court accepted the settlement motion and ended this prolonged lawsuit,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president & CEO. “The settlement vindicates ACCA’s concerns about the DOE requiring condensing furnaces without regard for potential impact on homeowners. We are also pleased to see that our comments aren’t likely to be overlooked in future rulemakings. Now the industry can move forward to develop an enforcement plan for the regional standards on split system and single package central air conditioners.”

Under the terms of the proposed settlement:

  • Regional standards for non-weatherized natural gas and mobile home furnace are rescinded.
  • The DOE will rewrite new standards for non-weatherized natural gas and mobile home furnaces within two years.
  • Regional standards for central air conditioners go into effect on January 1, 2015.
  • 13 SEER central air conditioners manufactured before January 1, 2015, may be installed in South and Southwest regions during an 18 month grace period ending July 1, 2016.
  • The DOE will initiate stakeholder-led negotiated rulemaking on enforcement for regional standards for central air conditioners.
  • The DOE will initiate a rulemaking to clarify the expedited standard setting process known as the Direct Final Rule.

ACCA  members can download a copy of the settlement agreement here.

If you have questions about this settlement, email Charlie McCrudden at charlie.mccrudden@acca.org or call 703-824-8841.


Posted In: Government

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