By: Brian Schutt
What we wrote last month has finally become official, that the Department of Energy has decided not to enforce the 80% efficiency furnace phase-out slated to go into place on May 1, 2013.
More information from HARDI Advocacy is below:
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 reiterate: DOE will not enforce the Regional Standard in the Northern Region while the proposed settlement and other matters are pending before the court.
The DOE full policy statement is here:
Enforcement Policy Statement
April 5, 2013
On June 27, 2011, the DOE published in the Federal Register a direct final
rule (DFR) under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), 42 U.S.C.
§§ 6291-6309, which set forth amended energy conservation standards for
residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps, including regional
standards for different product types in indicated States. 76 FR 37408. The
American Public Gas Association (APGA) challenged the stricter 90% Annual
Fuel Utilization Efficiency standard applying to non-weatherized gas furnaces in
the northern region of the United States. A number of other entities intervened in
that suit, challenging our standards for air conditioners and heat pumps in addition
On January 11, 2013, the Department of Justice, on behalf of DOE, and
APGA filed a joint motion asking the court to enter an agreement to settle APGA’s
challenge. The settlement agreement would, among other things, vacate the energy
conservation standards applicable to non-weatherized gas furnaces established in
the DFR. DOE hopes the court will act quickly to implement the settlement
The DFR requires compliance with the energy conservation standards
applicable to non-weatherized gas furnaces starting on May 1, 2013. 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.
We hope this answers any questions you’ve had about 80% Efficiency Furnace phase out.