Regional Standards Settlement Has Been Reached
On Friday afternoon, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) filed a settlement agreement with the court in the ongoing lawsuit over Regional Efficiency Standards.
Intervening parties in the lawsuit (including HARDI) now have ten days to file a response with the court, after which time the court will accept or reject the settlement agreement.
The terms of the settlment would vacate the current non-weatherized gas furnace and mobile home gas furnace standards, which were to be effective on May 1, 2013, and begin the process for developing a new standard within a year of the finalization of the settlement agreement.
The DOE has agreed to amend some of its data collection and information sharing procedures for this rulemaking.
This settlement agreement does not impact the Regional Efficiency Standard for Central A/C, nor does it provide any guarantee that a similar Regional Standard for these products may not again be set by the DOE in the subsequent rulemaking.
Rather, the settlement means that the DOE would essentially hit reset on the portion of the rule covering residential gas furnaces and mobile home gas furnaces. It is unclear how this settlment will impact an enforcement rulemaking, which was to be completed by DOE later this month and has yet to begin.
HARDI will continue to update membership as more information is known.