Court Cases Contest SEER Rule

SACRAMENTO, Calif., and NEW YORK - Two separate court cases challenging the federal government's new seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rule for air conditioners are being heard in federal courts.

The 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals in California is scheduled to hear a case on whether the state can mandate an energy efficiency level that differs from the federal SEER requirement. At the same time, in New York, a U.S. District Court is hearing a suit that asserts that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) did not follow federal procedures when it reduced the SEER requirement from 13 to 12.

Currently, federal regulations require air conditioning units under 5 tons to be 10 SEER. The federal government, during the Clinton administration, established a requirement that air conditioning units must have a SEER rating of 13 by Jan. 22, 2006. The Bush administration set aside that rule and established a new requirement of 12 SEER.

In 2001, the California Energy Commission sought to increase state air conditioning SEER levels to 13 from 10, citing the state's energy crisis. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, seated in Sacramento, ruled against the commission on June 11. The court said the commission cannot set its own standards without approval from the DOE. The commission is now appealing.

The DOE is being sued by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on the grounds that DOE does not have the authority to weaken the energy efficiency standard and that it did not follow proper legal procedures in this action. NRDC filed its suit with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Publication date: 10/27/2003

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 ACCA Conference

Images from the 2015 ACCA Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Posted on April 8, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Leslie McDowell

Leslie McDowell, director of communications at the Building Performance Institute Inc., discusses the nonprofit organization's new homeowner centric website. Posted on April 10.

More Podcasts


NEWS 04-13-15 cover

2015 April 13

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Global Warming

Do you believe in man-made global warming?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con