Government Red Tape! Where do we stand on the Regional Efficiency Standards

BREAKING: DOE Will Not Enforce Regional Standard

The Department of Energy released a statement this afternoon stating that while litigation was ongoing in the Regional Standards lawsuit and the court was considering a proposed settlement as well as a motion to stay, the DOE will not enforce the Regional Efficiency Standard in the Northern Region.

DOE stated: “In an exercise of its enforcement discretion, DOE will, during the pendency of the litigation, act in a manner consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement with regard to the enforcement of the standards.”

DOE’s policy statement comes on the heels of multiple requests for a delay from the Department. Today alone, HARDI members sent nearly 900 emails to the DOE and Capitol Hill requesting this very action.

To read the DOE’s policy statement click here.

To reiterate: DOE will not enforce the Regional Standard in the Northern Region while the proposed settlment and other matters are pending before the court.

 It is amazing to me that we are 30 days out from a major industry change and we still do not have a settlement as to what will happen?   Does the DOE not understand how big of a change this is to the products we sell and inventory?   Do they not care or is this in such a legal battle or buried in government red tape that we just are not going to get an answer until the 11th hour.

Our agency has been watching the purposed Regional Efficiency Standards for over a year now wondering how it will or will not affect our business.   We currently sell products that would become unnecessary or obsolete overnight if this change takes effect.   I have heard it will happen and it won’t happen so many times from reputable sources over the past 90 days my head is spinning.   So here we sit 30 days out and I get a notice from Hardi saying “nothing has been decided and we don’t know when we will have an answer”.  So where are we today?   Let me tell you:

  • In January, after more than 90 days of negotiating, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) filed a proposed settlement with the U.S. Court of Appeals. This settlement would vacate the residential gas furnace and mobile home gas furnace standards, which carried a May 1, 2013 effective date. The DOE would then be forced to redo the furnace standard. This proposed settlement does not address the regional efficiency standards for central air-conditioning, which take effect in the South and Southwest on January 1, 2015. The court must officially approve or reject this proposed settlement.
  • HARDI, in response to the proposed settlement, filed a Motion of Substitution with the Court. This motion stated that HARDI did not object to the proposed APGA/DOE settlement, however if the court accepts the settlement HARDI would like to continue the case to address procedural issues, which led to the development of the regional standard for central air-conditioning in the South and Southwest.
  • The City of New York, Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants, Consumer Federation of America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Alliance to Save Energy and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy filed an opposition to the proposed APGA/DOE settlement.
  • Multiple requests have been made to the DOE to delay the May 1 effective date. To date, the DOE has failed to respond or acknowledge these requests.
  • Because DOE has yet to reply to requests for a delay in the effective date, a motion was filed with U.S. Court of Appeals to request a stay or delay from the May 1 effective date for the Regional Efficiency Standards in the Northern Region. The motion, which was filed by the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) echoes comments presented to the court by HARDI regarding the uncertainty that this looming deadline has brought upon the entire HVACR industry. HARDI and ACCA will be filing a response in support of the motion to stay or delay the deadline.

Sure would be nice if they could let us know!


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