The Department of Energy enacted new federal regulations requiring high-efficiency furnaces, which were set to be implemented in May of 2013. The impact on some community associations could have been significant in that the regulations required re-venting of furnaces. Specifically, under the new regulations, a furnace could not use a vent that went straight up and through the roof, but rather, a new furnace would need to be installed that vented out the side wall right next to the furnace. These regulations would have had an immediate and severe impact on the budget of owners and associations alike.
In December of 2012, the American Public Gas Association sued the Department of Energy to block the high-efficiency furnace standards, arguing that enacting these new regulations would force owners to purchase less efficient furnaces (i.e. electric furnaces). The suit was just recently resolved with the Department of Energy agreeing to back off and eliminate the regulations. For now, community associations do not need to concern themselves with the Department of Energy regulations concerning old furnaces that vent through the roof and may continue to use their currently existing furnaces. Our firm will continue to monitor this situation as many believe the Department of Energy may in the future try to enact a variation of the furnace regulations