Most of us are aware of proposed “Regional Standards”. Below is the latest stand on the proposed standards. At least for now it looks like the standards will be at least postponed for a while. Please read the following.
There are many conflicting rumors regarding the implementation of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Direct Final Rule,” which establishes minimum AFUE standards for residential
non-weatherized and mobile home gas furnaces at 90% AFUE in the Northern region of the United States and 80% AFUE in the Southeastern and Southwestern regions of the United States. The Direct Final Rule was to go into effect on May 1, 2013.
The American Public Gas Association (APGA) challenged the DOE’s Direct Final Rule on furnaces in Federal Court, which resulted in a negotiated settlement between the DOE and APGA. The negotiated settlement vacates the Direct Final Rule on furnaces (mentioned above) if the settlement is accepted by the Court. If the Direct Final Rule is vacated, the pending May 1, 2013 implementation date is no longer in effect and the DOE will most likely initiate a new negotiated rulemaking.
Recently, the Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) petitioned the Court, asking to replace the APGA in the lawsuit against the DOE, presumably to challenge the Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Regional Standards, which are effective January 1, 2015. This recent development complicates matters and may impede the Court’s swift acceptance if the negotiated settlement between the DOE and the APGA.
If the negotiated settlement is not accepted, the implementation date would most likely shift well past May 1, 2013, because most parties involved (Manufacturers, Distributors, Dealers and the DOE) are not prepared for a May 1, 2013 implementation date.