DOE has delayed for more than a year acting on Obama Administration standards for portable air conditioners.
The U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California last week ordered the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to publish energy conservation standards for portable air conditioners, air compressors, commercial packaged boilers, and uninterruptible power supplies that the DOE estimated would save consumers and businesses $8.4 billion over 30 years.
The DOE originally posted the standards on its website in December 2016 under the Obama administration, giving the public 45 days to review them for errors before publication in the Federal Register.
“A year has passed since the error-correction process ended.,” said the court in its ruling. “But the Department still has not published the energy standards in the Federal Register, which is preventing the standards from taking effect. This failure is a violation of the Department's duties under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.”
The DOE has 28 days from the order to publish the standards.
“This failure is a violation of the Department's duties under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.”
– U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California
The court order is the result of a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Earthjustice (representing the Sierra Club, the Consumer Federation of America, and Texas Ratepayers’ Organization to Save Energy). In a separate action, Attorneys General from 11 states, as well as the City of New York, also challenged the delay. The original lawsuits also included a fifth delayed efficiency standard, for walk-in coolers and freezers, but that standard was later published.
As of January 2018, the DOE has missed deadlines for eight additional standards, and has delayed 20 others, according to the NRDC.“The judge’s ruling should push the DOE to do its job and keep energy efficiency standards rolling, trimming energy bills and carbon pollution, and providing certainty for American manufacturers, for decades to come,” wrote Lauren Urbanek, NRDC’s senior energy policy advocate, Energy & Transportation Program, on the NRDC website.