DOE Acts to Stop Sales of Inefficient Air Conditioners
September 29, 2010
DOE announced on September 23 that it has taken action against Air-Con, International, requiring the company to stop selling certain air conditioning systems in the United States that have been shown to violate minimum energy efficiency appliance standards. DOE is proposing a civil penalty of more than $230,000 for importing and distributing these inefficient cooling products. This action and the proposed penalties are part of DOE's continued commitment to act aggressively to remove unlawful products from the market. To date, nearly 70 different non-compliant products have been removed from commerce since 2009.
In March 2010, DOE issued a subpoena requiring Air-Con to submit detailed information about the energy consumption of its products and about how the company marketed and sold them in the United States. Based on Air-Con's responses to the subpoena, DOE has found that the company imported and distributed nearly 2,000 air conditioning units that are rated at 10 SEER, while the federal standard requires a minimum 13 SEER rating. The announcement covers two air conditioning unit models: ACN-09/12/18/24-GCH and ACN-MTS-09CO/12CO/09EV/12EV. The notice proposes the maximum penalty for selling non-compliant products and requires Air-Con to immediately cease further U.S. sales and provide written notification to its customers who purchased these units. If Air-Con fails to cease distribution of these models in the United States, DOE will seek a judicial order to prevent additional sales. See the DOE press release and the full Notice of Noncompliance Determination and Proposed Civil Penalty.