The end of the regional standards lawsuit may be just weeks away after parties in the case filed a joint settlement motion on March 11 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The settlement agreement, which now awaits court approval, would vacate the regional furnace efficiency standards and restart the rulemaking process, this time giving stakeholders more opportunities to provide input throughout the rulemaking process. The settlement would also give the industry an 18-month sell-through period to comply with the Jan. 1, 2015, efficiency standards for split-system air conditioners in order to help avoid stranded inventory. Additionally, as part of the agreement, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has agreed not to penalize distributors as part of its enforcement plan.