Enforcement Of Furnace Efficiency Standards Delayed
Written By: Ronald L. Perl and Jonathan H. Katz
The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it will not enforce the rules requiring residential natural gas furnaces installed in New Jersey and other northern states to be at least 90% efficient starting on May 1, 2013, pending the outcome of the lawsuit challenging those rules. The lawsuit has resulted in a settlement that would vacate the rules, but that settlement requires the approval of a Federal Appeals Court, which has not scheduled a hearing on the issue.
Although the rules remain intact, the DOE will not enforce them. Therefore homeowners may continue to install non-condensing residential natural gas furnaces pending on resolution of the case.
The new standards are significant to community associations because the new furnaces vent much differently than existing ones and require modifications to units and common elements, which may be difficult or impossible because of space limitations or building code issues.
According to the DOE's statement, "In an exercise of its enforcement discretion, DOE will, during the pendency of the litigation, act in a manner consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement with regard to the enforcement of the standards."
To view Enforcement Policy Statement click here.
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