Our Agency has been a HARDI memeber since it joined the NHRAW in the mid 80’s. As a member, we would like to think that our associations are always looking out for our industry and would stand up and fight for us if needed. Yesterday, HARDI won that battle for our industry and for the members. It is not very often that we need to push back, as changes are needed and for the most part a good thing; however, the regional efficency standard changes were not well thought out and would have been major changes to heating systems in our region. HARDI not only stood up for our group and industry as a whole, but they also didnt give up the fight when the DOE wanted to drag this out. We should all thank our HARDI leadership both past and present, and our agency would like to thank Royce Henderson and Steve Porter for getting us to the end result. Here is some info on it and a link to the HARDI website.
Columbus, Ohio– Heating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced today that a settlement has been reached in the long-running lawsuit regarding Regional Efficiency Standards for residential gas furnaces and central air-conditioners finalized by the Department of Energy (DOE) in October 2011. The settlement, which will take effect upon judicial approval, would remand the efficiency standards for gas furnaces, forcing the DOE to begin the process for assessing efficiency standards anew and to do so in a more transparent manner. The increase and regionalization in the standards for central air-conditioners will remain, but the DOE has allowed for a “sell-through” period of 18-months and agreed to not penalize HVACR distributors as part of the enforcement of the Regional Standard. Additionally, the DOE has agreed to engage in a process to review the regulatory processes that established the Regional Efficiency Standards.
The settlement signifies a victory for HVACR distributors, who intervened in the lawsuit challenging the standards, citing DOE’s abuse of process in utilizing a regulatory procedure which ignored the input of distributors and other stakeholders. HARDI President Royce Henderson (Charles D. Jones Company) stated, “Our goal from the start has been twofold. The first was to provide relief to our members who faced damages as a result of DOE’s actions. The second has been to fix the process, so this will never happen again. We believe this settlement accomplishes both goals to the greatest extent possible.”
HARDI was represented in the lawsuit on a pro-bono basis by Cause of Action, a non-profit, nonpartisan government accountability organization. “We cannot thank the talented folks at Cause of Action enough. They have given a voice to the many small businesses that make up HARDI and have helped hold the DOE accountable,” said Henderson.