By: Brian Schutt
The best update we can find to the pause by the Dept. of Energy in the implementation of the increase in furnace efficiency to 90% is this update from ACCA’s Charlie McCrudden.
As of mid-October 2013 the only news to report is that the case is still pending in the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The DOE is barred from enforcing the furnace standards until the case is resolved. A resolution could take three different forms. One, the proposed settlement agreement vacating the standards and forcing the DOE to rewrite them could be accepted by the Court at some point. Two, the Court could make a ruling against the standards, and they are vacated permanently. Or three, if the Court upholds the standards there would be a six-month delay before they would be enforced.
At the request of the Court, all parties to the lawsuit will be filing new briefs in the case, a process that could go through January 2014. It is uncertain when a trial would start or how long it would take to get a final ruling. In the meantime, the pending new regional standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps are still set to go into effect on January 1, 2015.