AHRI has decided not to back HARDI’s petition to continue the regional standards lawsuit for the a/c side. What was the reasoning behind the decision?

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has filed a motion in opposition to the one filed by HARDI to be substituted as a petitioner in the American Public Gas Association (APGA) v. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lawsuit. The AHRI motion was filed with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. 

HARDI’s motion was made in response to the Court’s consideration of a settlement of the lawsuit that would result in the furnace rule being vacated and DOE initiating a new rulemaking to set new efficiency standards for residential furnaces.  AHRI was joined by the environmental advocacy groups and DOE in separate filings in opposition to HARDI’s motion.

AHRI’s motion argues that HARDI’s motion would result in an undue burden on manufacturers, as extensive time and capital investments are required to comply with the new energy efficiency standards, which were proposed by AHRI and the efficiency advocates as part of a consensus agreement and promulgated by DOE under authority of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).

According to AHRI, if granted, HARDI’s motion would expand the scope of the litigation beyond the claims made by APGA in filing the lawsuit, which was specifically limited to the residential furnace standards in the direct final rule.  AHRI said it supports the efficiency standards in the final rule. The association’s members are concerned that regulatory and litigation delays have severely limited the time for manufacturers to prepare to meet the compliance deadlines.