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Department of Energy Settlement

Department of Energy Settles CaseIn a settlement filed late Friday afternoon, the Department of Energy (DOE) has agreed to withdraw the pending minimum energy conservation standards that include regional standards for residential non-weatherized and mobile home gas furnaces.The term “non-weatherized furnace” is used to define furnaces that are designed to be placed indoors.

According to the terms of the settlement, portions of the June 27, 2011 Direct Final Rule setting the minimum AFUE standards for residential non-weatherized and mobile home gas furnaces at 90% in the Northern region and 80% in the Southeastern and Southwestern regions is vacated, along with the pending May 1, 2013 compliance date.

Pending the Court’s acceptance of this settlement, non-condensing furnaces remain legal to install in all states until further notice.

The DOE also agrees that it will initiate a new rule making for minimum energy conservation standards for residential furnaces and allow stakeholders the opportunity to comment.

The portions of the Direct Final Rule setting new minimum energy efficiency standards for central air conditioners and heat pumps, including any regional standards, remain in place, along with the January 1, 2015, compliance date.

On December 23, 2011, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) challenged the Direct Final Rule in a suit brought in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Last year ACCA joined the case as an Intervenor aligning with the APGA. Should the settlement agreement be accepted by the Court, this case would be resolved.

More details and analysis of this settlement will be forthcoming once it is accepted by the Court.

Also of Interest  Home Energy Efficiency Depends on Cooling and Heating

Charlie McCrudden
ACCA, Vice President of Government Relations

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