DOE is seeking comment from the public on an enforcement plan that describes how the Department would enforce the regional standards for central air conditioners. The proposed rule was developed by a working group of efficiency advocates, manufacturers, utility representatives, contractors, and distributors.
DOE reached an agreement with LG Electronics, USA, Inc. (LG) that modifies a prior agreement under which LG had been making annual payments to consumers who had purchased certain models of LG and Kenmore-brand French Door refrigerators.
Perlick Corporation agreed to pay a civil penalty of $168,200 after manufacturing and distributing freezers that consumed over 20% more energy than permitted under the applicable energy conservation standard.
The Office of Enforcement recently resolved enforcement actions against seven companies that failed to submit required reports to certify that their refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and/or freezers comply with federal energy conservation standards.
Closures at 29 West Coast marine ports in February 2015 due to a labor dispute have resulted in significant delays for certain goods entering the United States through those ports. DOE issued an enforcement policy not to seek civil penalties for violations of the energy and water conservation standards resulting from those delays under certain circumstances.
On June 27, 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published in the Federal Register a direct final rule (DFR) under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 6291-6309, which set forth amended energy conservation standards for residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps, including regional standards for different product types in indicated States. 76 FR 37408.
The General Counsel's enforcement office settled an enforcement action against Whirlpool Corporation for $5,329,800. Whirlpool agreed to the settlement after manufacturing and distributing refrigerator-freezers that consumed about 8% more energy than permitted under the appliance energy conservation standards. This settlement reflects DOE's penalty policy.
The General Counsel's enforcement office settled an enforcement action against Ningbo Hicon International Industry Company, Ltd. for $1,927,097. Ningbo Hicon is a Chinese company that manufactures consumer refrigeration products for a variety of private labelers. Ningbo Hicon agreed to the settlement after manufacturing and distributing chest freezers that consumed about 30% more energy than permitted under the appliance energy conservation standards. This settlement reflects the second largest penalty since the enforcement office was created in 2010.
After collaborating with the Department of Energy and considering comments from stakeholders, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued a final rule last week that allows CBP to refuse admission into the customs territory of the United States for sale within the United States of covered products that fail to meet an applicable DOE energy conservation standard.