“It would have been very difficult to meet that deadline,” he said.
Niketa Kumar, a spokeswoman for the Energy Department, said the appeals court misconstrued the rule, which she said applied only to fireplace heaters and furnaces and specifically excluded decorative fireplaces.
Senior Judge A. Raymond Randolph made a similar point in his dissent, noting that the Energy Department distinguished between genuine heaters and purely decorative devices.
But Goldman said the federal rule made it difficult to determine whether a fireplace could be considered decorative. Expensive design changes would have been needed, either to meet the definition of being decorative or the energy efficiency standards required of heaters, he said.
“The court told DOE to take another shot at it,” Goldman said, adding that the industry does not oppose energy-efficiency standards for products intended as heaters.