The crazy-quilt US Department of Energy efficiency standards imposed by the federal government 2 1/2 years ago have been vacated in the US District Court of Appeals. The vacated DOE ruling actually called for different energy efficiency standards in different parts of the country, overturning decades of national consistency.
For instance, the traditional 80% efficient furnace was outlawed in the Northwest, but was still allowed to be used in the Southwest and Southeast. This DOE ruling was done suddenly and without industry or end-user input, resulting in stranded inventory, and some very arbitrary and onerous rules. Now the process will start over–with industry input! It will also include an 18-month sell-through period to dispose of any equipment inventory left on shelves after rules are finalized.
This re-start will make for an orderly transition, necessary exceptions, and more input from the heating-cooling industry that actually will have to carry out the DOE rules. June 10, 2014