Whether or not the court accepts the regional standards lawsuit settlement, HVAC equipment manufacturers want more time to get ready.

Industry group the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute is again asking the Energy Department to delay the May 1 implementation date for manufacturing indoor residential furnaces with region-based energy-efficiency standards.

On Feb. 27, the group sent a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu reminding him that members need time to prepare for labeling and enforcement regulations. It requested the rule’s effective date be moved to Nov. 1, 2014.

In the letter, AHRI President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen R. Yurek wrote that his group had sent a similar letter to the energy secretary last July but never received a reply.

“Since AHRI submitted this petition, not only has more time passed to the detriment of U.S. manufacturers, distributors and contractors who must be prepared for the upcoming compliance date, but pending litigation has made the May compliance date even more irrational,” Yurek said, referring to the government’s decision to drop regional standards as part of lawsuit settlement negotiated with the American Public Gas Association.

In addition, Yurek said the Heating Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International’s motion to continue the case over air conditioner and heat pump standards could lead to “possible chaos” for manufacturers because the Energy Department has said it would no longer back the settlement if HARDI’s motion is accepted.

“The granting of our requested extension immediately, however, will prevent waste in the meantime,” Yurek said. “If for some reason the furnace standards as promulgated in the direct final rule do go into effect, then the modest delay we seek does not adversely affect their public benefits in any significant way.”