The Department of Energy has settled the civil penalty action it initiated against Air-Con International for Air-Con’s sale of air conditioners in the United States that used more energy than allowed by federal law. On September 20, 2010, based on Air-Con’s responses to a DOE subpoena, DOE ordered Air-Con to stop selling noncompliant air conditioners in the United States and proposed civil penalties for the noncompliant units sold by the company. Air-Con promptly ceased U.S. sales of the noncompliant models. In the settlement announced today, DOE agreed to accept a civil penalty of $10,000, after considering factors set forth in DOE’s penalty guidance, including Air-Con’s financial condition. The agreement can be found here.
Federal law allows companies to import - for export only - products that do not comply with DOE’s energy and water conservation standards. Air-Con admitted importing noncompliant air conditioners and selling those products in the U.S. Air-Con also admitted that it did not take steps to ensure the products were exported and that it did not know whether the products it sold were ever exported or were used in the U.S. Air-Con has committed to follow all applicable federal laws and regulations regarding the importation and sale of products in the future.