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DOE to Begin Investigating Manufacturers Who Produce Unmatched Units

Last month, the Department of Energy announced that it will seek civil penalties from manufacturers that produced unmatched central air-conditioning and heat pumps on or after Feb. 1, 2016. This action will eliminate the manufacturer’s ability to produce dry-charge R-22 heat pumps or air-conditioners unless a waiver is granted by the DOE. So far, not a single manufacturer has requested to do so, notes the DOE in a statement.

Effective immediately, the DOE will begin investigating the methods manufacturers are using to represent the efficiency of central air-conditioners that do not have a highest sales volume combination. The DOE strongly encourages manufacturers to seek test procedure waivers to come into compliance with the existing regulations.

The DOE will continue to use its discretion in determining whether or to what extent civil penalties are appropriate based on its findings, including what good-faith efforts the manufacturer may have taken to comply. A key factor will be whether a manufacturer introduced model(s) after the DOE issued the air-conditioner test procedure supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking—at which point there could have been no confusion as to whether these central air-conditioners could be tested and rated using the current test procedure.

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