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AHRI Update: April 2012

AHRI's newsletter brings you timely, concise policy information. You will receive the latest analysis on topics that most affect the HVACR, gas space heating, and water heating industries, as well as up-to-date information on current AHRI initiatives, standards development activities, certification program changes, and much more. If you are not receiving the newsletter, subscribe today.


APRIL 26, 2012

AHRI Spring Meeting – Have You Registered?
The 2012 AHRI Spring Meeting will be held May 9-11, 2012, in Arlington, Va. Join us for a special members-only session, DOE Rulemakings, Enforcement, and Regulatory Compliance, on the evening of Thursday, May 10. In addition, Thursday’s luncheon will feature guest speakers Kathleen Vokes and Abigail Daken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who will discuss enhanced ENERGY STAR verification, testing, enforcement requirements, and the role of Certifying Bodies such as AHRI. They also will highlight selection requirements, pass/fail criteria, and specifications for HVACR and water heating products. View the full schedule here.

The 2012 AHRI Spring Meeting is the place to reconnect with industry colleagues and hear about the latest issues affecting the industry. Register today for AHRI's Spring Meeting at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. Contact: Brittany Buchanan.

AHRI Visits Trox USA, Inc.
AHRI Director of Education Warren Lupson, Manager of Certification Marc Neufcourt, and Project Analyst Hubert Liu visited member company Trox USA, Inc. in Cumming, Ga., on April 11, 2012. TROX staff provided a tour of their manufacturing facility and discussed standard and certification program activities with AHRI staff. If you would like for AHRI staff to visit your facility, please contact Amanda Miller.

AHRI Promotes the Rees Scholarship Program
As part of its efforts to promote the Rees Scholarship program and increase the number of applicants, AHRI staff visited Georgia Piedmont Technical College in Clarkston, and Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Ga., on April 12, 2012. Staff toured the schools’ training facilities for HVACR and water heating education programs and met with administration leaders to discuss the goals and benefits of the Rees Scholarship and to establish promotional partnerships.
School visits are part of a broader effort to increase public awareness of the Rees Scholarship Foundation. For more information about the Rees Scholarship Foundation, please visit www.reesscholarship.org. Contact: Marc Neufcourt.

AHRI Submits Comments to CEC on Sensor Accuracy and Calibration Data
Last week, AHRI submitted comments to the California Energy Commission (CEC) on its proposed code language with respect to sensor accuracy and sensor calibration data for air economizers and return air dampers on individual cooling fan systems that have a design supply capacity over 1,500 CFM and a total mechanical cooling capacity over 45,000 Btu/h. AHRI’s comments directed CEC toward a study conducted by industry proving that the tolerances proposed by the CEC on sensor accuracy are too stringent and have very little impact on energy savings. AHRI stated that the stringent tolerances cannot be economically justified and that CEC should consider relaxing the tolerances. AHRI also recommended that the CEC should not rely on field instrumentation and instead allow factory certified sensor calibration. AHRI’s comments stated that reliable calibration can only be achieved through laboratory-grade instruments that are routinely calibrated to known standards. The full text of the comments can be accessed here. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Submits Comments on Rulemaking Analyses for Commercial Ice-makers
On April 22, AHRI filed comments on the preliminary technical support document (TSD) that the Department of Energy (DOE) released in January 2012 as part of its rulemaking process on minimum energy conservation standards for automatic commercial ice-makers. The TSD contains preliminary analyses performed by DOE, the performance energy conservation standard levels that DOE could consider, and the energy savings that could result from implementing these standards. In its comments to DOE, AHRI noted serious deficiencies in the engineering analysis and in particular the “cost-efficiency” curves that were derived based on false assumptions and incorrect cost figures. AHRI offered to work with DOE and its contractor to improve the analysis. AHRI further questioned DOE’s intention to regulate continuous ice-makers, as the preliminary energy savings from establishing energy conservation standards were found negligible. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI Submits Comments on Consensus Standards Circular
AHRI is submitting comments this week to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on whether and how to supplement Circular A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities (see March 30 Federal Register notice). Final responses must be submitted by April 30, 2012.

Also, OMB has announced a public workshop at the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on May 15, 2012. The workshop will include presentations from key government officials, industry, and experts on standards and conformity assessment. Contact: Mike Woodford.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Menergy Geothermal, Inc.  – Water-Source Heat Pumps (WSHP)
  • Terra-Therm Inc. – Water-Source Heat Pumps (WSHP)
  • Yuhuan Langxun Brass Industry Co., Ltd – Refrigerant Recovery/Recycling Equipment (RRRE)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

U.S. Attends ISO/TC 161 Meetings in Scotland
During the week of April 16-20, a U.S. Delegation attended meetings of the ISO/TC 161, Control and Protective Devices for Gas and/or Oil Burners and Appliances, and its related Working Groups, at the Honeywell International facilities in Motherwell, Scotland. In attendance were delegations from Japan, Korea, France, Italy, UK, and Germany.

The Technical Committee (TC) made good progress on several draft standards currently under development related to gas and oil controls for heating appliances. The TC also is in the process of debating a number of important and complex issues related to the global relevance of the standard’s requirements and how they can be adopted and applied by various countries and regions of the world. The result of these discussions will be very important to the future requirements of the standard. Committee members plan to continue the discussion during their next meeting, scheduled for October 22-26 at AHRI headquarters in Arlington, Va. Contact: Dave Delaquila.

AHRI Calls for Level Playing Field and Standards Harmonization in Kuwait, Lebanon
Jim Walters, AHRI’s Vice President, International Affairs, delivered a keynote address at the International Conference on Energy Research and Development (ICERD 5) in Kuwait, April 9-11, and then traveled to meet with energy efficiency officials from the Gulf region in Lebanon, April 12-14.

The conference, sponsored by AHRI, ASHRAE, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Department of Energy, was attended by about 150 people, including AHRI members and other industry leaders, governmental officials, academics, and researchers. Walters explained that the industry’s desire for a level playing field and government’s interest in conformity with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are parallel and are served by an industry-driven systematic performance verification program, such as AHRI’s globally recognized certification program. AHRI also stressed that regional energy efficiency gains are best supported by harmonized MEPS, and that government officials and industry should find a consistent dialogue with an industry council or association as an efficient way to gather industry views.

During the conference, Walters met with representatives from the Saudi Arabia Standards Organization (SASO) and the Emirates Standards and Metrology Association (ESMA), both of which have roles in establishing and enforcing the countries’ respective MEPS. There also were discussions with UNEP regarding possible UNEP-, ASHRAE-, and AHRI-sponsored refrigerant workshops in the region.

Following the conference, Walters met with senior staff of the Kuwait Institute for Research (KISR) and the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) in Lebanon. Both expressed an interest in establishing testing laboratories for HVACR equipment, possibly with some affiliation with AHRI.  Jim also met with Dany Gedeon, Director General of the Lebanese Ministry of Industry. The Ministry will prepare the HVACR MEPS for Lebanon and will be responsible for verification.  Gedeon expressed some interest in using AHRI’s testing and rating standards. Contact: Jim Walters. Above: Ramzi Shasha and Dany Gedeon, Lebanese Ministry of Industry, with AHRI’s Jim Walters.


APRIL 19, 2012

Special Members-only Regulatory Session to be Held During AHRI Spring Meeting
The 2012 AHRI Spring Meeting will include a special members-only session to discuss the Department of Energy’s (DOE) current enforcement efforts and issues that AHRI members will need to address as the association develops a strategy for future interactions with DOE.  The session, which will take place at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, will be an opportunity for members to hear about recent DOE enforcement activities and participate in a discussion on how AHRI should respond.  

AHRI staff will make presentations on (1) DOE subpoenas for testing data from the AHRI Certification Program, (2) the differences between the AHRI and DOE testing protocols; (3) AHRI’s congressional strategy with regard to DOE; and (4) AHRI efforts to forge a consensus with DOE.  

In addition to providing updates on these issues, staff will lead an interactive discussion to gather member input on how AHRI should respond to DOE’s enforcement activities.  Of particular importance will be consideration of the differences between the AHRI and DOE testing protocols and any changes that should be considered for the AHRI certification program. AHRI members are strongly encouraged to attend this important session.  Please click here to register for the Spring Meeting. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

More than 200 Education Professionals Attend March HVACR & Mechanical Conference
AHRI and seventeen other organizations co-sponsored the HVACR & Mechanical Conference, formerly known as the Instructors’ Workshop, March 12-14, in Colorado Springs, Co. More than 200 education professionals attended the event, which was subsidized by the sponsoring organizations.  The Conference included sessions on radiant heating, variable frequency drives, and green buildings. The next Conference is scheduled for March 11-13, 2013, at the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge in Colorado Springs, Co. Additional information will be posted online as the event nears. Contact: Warren Lupson.

Update on APGA v. DOE
On March 30, the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced the next steps in the American Public Gas Association’s (APGA) lawsuit against the Department of Energy (DOE) over the Consensus Agreement Direct Final Rule. AHRI has intervened in this proceeding in support of the respondent (DOE), along with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the City of New York, the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Massachusetts Union of Public Housing Tenants, and the Consumer Federation of America. HARDI and ACCA have intervened in support of the plaintiff, APGA. The court has directed the intervenors on each side to submit a joint brief. AHRI is coordinating with NRDC and the other organizations supporting the direct final rule.
The court-ordered briefing schedule is as follows:

Petitioner's Brief (APGA) – May 14, 2012
Intervenors supporting the Petitioner (HARDI and ACCA) – May 29, 2012
Respondent's Brief (DOE) – June 28, 2012
Intervenors supporting DOE (AHRI, NRDC et. al.) – July 13, 2012
Intervenors for Petitioner Reply Brief (HARDI and ACCA) – July 27, 2012
Petitioner's Reply Brief (APGA) – July 27, 2012
Final Briefs (All Parties) – August 17, 2012

The court has not scheduled an oral argument; however, APGA may request one. If so, oral arguments would take place in the fall, and any final decision by the Court would not be issued until December 2012 at the earliest (and more likely early 2013). AHRI will keep members updated on the latest developments. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

AHRI Staff Meets with CPUC Official
AHRI staff met with a top official at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week to discuss the newly released CPUC Guidance to IOUs document. The meeting with Michael Colvin, Chief Energy Advisor to Commissioner Ferron at the CPUC, proved valuable as Colvin authored at least 15 percent of the Guidance Document. Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) in the state are expected to submit their proposals to the CPUC this spring outlining ways they plan to reduce energy consumption. A final compliance document is expected to be released this summer. The future of IOU HVACR and water heating incentives will be a part of the conversation once the final document is released. CPUC staff assured AHRI that product-neutral incentives with maximum values are an essential part of reducing energy consumption. Contact: Phillip Wallace or Karim Amrane.

AHRI Discusses Database with CEC Commissioner
The AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance was a key topic when AHRI staff met with Commissioner Karen Douglas at the California Energy Commission last Tuesday. Because AHRI is an Approved Industry Certification Program under California's Title 20 regulations, information in the CEC database on central air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, and water heaters comes directly from the AHRI Directory. AHRI has spoken with the Efficiency & Renewable Energy Division of the CEC on several occasions regarding the need to update the CEC database and correct technical errors.

While AHRI submits data to the CEC on a monthly basis, it usually takes weeks -- if not months -- before the CEC uploads the data into its database.  The AHRI Directory, by contrast, is updated in real-time for equipment such as residential central air conditioners, furnaces, and water heaters.  As a result, there have been instances where products listed in the AHRI Directory were ruled ineligible for installation in California by the CEC because the CEC had not updated its database in time to incorporate the new products.  Commissioner Douglas indicated a willingness to work with AHRI to modify the process and eliminate the delay. AHRI will continue to work with the CEC on this issue. Contact: Phillip Wallace or Karim Amrane.

DOE Releases RFI for “HVACR to Home Performance”
The Department of Energy (DOE) has released a Request for Information (RFI) on how the Department can best support the expansion of HVACR contractors into residential whole-house energy efficiency services through new initiatives or by building upon existing “HVACR to Home Performance” efforts underway within the industry. DOE is seeking to give HVACR technicians who visit a home for a repair or service the opportunity for a whole-house energy assessment as well as major energy efficiency and performance improvements in the HVACR and water heating equipment itself, in the distribution system, and throughout the building envelope.

In addition, DOE may release a competitive Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in Fiscal Year 2012 to support efforts that facilitate HVACR contractor expansion into home performance. The FOA will be divided into 3 topic areas: (1) HVACR Efficiency and System Performance; (2) HVACR to Home Performance Business Models; and (3) HVACR Professional Certifications. To access the RFI, please click here. Responses are due May 1, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. EDT, and are limited to five pages in Microsoft Word. Contact: Phillip Wallace.

Water Heater Section’s Regulatory & Policy Committee Conducts First Meeting
The recently established Regulatory and Policy Committee of the Water Heater Section held its first meeting by teleconference on April 10, 2012.  Among the items discussed were activities to revise the federal efficiency test procedures for water heaters and proposals to amend the efficiency requirements for commercial water heaters in ASHRAE Standard 90.1.  The committee also discussed a proposed California bill (AB 2525) regarding the venting of gas-fired water heaters.  The committee noted that the intent of proposed bill was redundant to current regulations covering the installation of gas-fired equipment in California and agreed that AHRI should oppose the bill. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Comments on Draft 3 Version 2.0 ENERGY STAR Water Heaters Specification
On April 16, 2012, AHRI submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Draft 3 Version 2.0 specifications for the ENERGY STAR Program for residential water heaters. This draft contained a major change, adding requirements for gas-fired hybrid water heaters, which includes some models that are defined as commercial water heaters by federal regulations but are used in residential applications. AHRI’s comments suggested that the EPA proposal is confusing and that it may be simpler to develop ENERGY STAR criteria for commercial water heaters.  EPA intends to finalize the revised criteria in the next several weeks and make Version 2 specifications effective in February 2013. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Launches New Directory for Forced Circulation Air-Cooling and Air-Heating Coils
AHRI recently launched a new online directory of AHRI Certified® Forced Circulation Air-Cooling and Air-Heating Coils (ACHC). The AHRI Certification Program tests this equipment to AHRI Standard 410-2001 with Addendum 3, Forced-Circulation Air-Heating and Air-Cooling Coils (formerly ARI 410). The new tool is easier to use than its predecessor, providing specifiers, engineers, and contractors with a better way to verify performance and certification of these products.

The new ACHC directory includes software tracking and a unique model designation for forced-circulation air-cooling coils under non-frosting conditions and forced-circulation air-cooling and air-heating coils intended for field installation and use in central station air-handling units. Certification ratings verified by test are: average total capacity; air pressure drop; and water (or glycol) pressure drop. View the directory online here. Contact: Laura Petrillo.

AHRI to Submit Annual Certification Report to DOE
On or before May 1, 2012, AHRI will submit to DOE the annual certification report for residential furnaces, boilers, and water heaters as required by the Code of Federal Regulations 10C.F.R Part 429.12(d). The AHRI Directory will be the vehicle used to submit the efficiency data to DOE for those manufacturers who have authorized AHRI to submit certification reports on their behalf. Manufacturers do not need to submit a new third party authorization form and compliance statement unless there are any updates to the forms on file with AHRI. The annual certification reports for residential air conditioners and heat pumps will be submitted to DOE by July 1, 2012, and for residential direct heating equipment by October 1, 2012.   DOE has postponed the due date the manufacturer certification reports for commercial products to December 31, 2012.  Contact: Bill Tritsis.

EPA’s Implementation of XML-based Qualified Product Exchange System for ENERGY STAR Products Nearly Complete
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will soon complete the transition to the XML-based qualified product exchange (QPX) system for certification bodies (CBs) to submit information on products certified as ENERGY STAR. Once the web service for the product category is live, the Excel templates will no longer be available to provide data to EPA. The XML submissions will streamline the process for CBs to send information or modifications of certified products. As a certification body, AHRI is currently working internally to develop this new reporting software which, when implemented, will simplify the process for AHRI members. 

The implementation schedule of XML submission services for the different product categories is:
  • Furnaces V3.0 on May 21, 2012
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps V3.1 Tier 3 on May 24, 2012
  • Boilers V2.1 on June 12, 2012
  • Light Commercial HVAC V2.2 on June 25, 2012.
EPA is still working on XML-based web service templates for Water Heaters Version 1.1, Commercial Ice Machines V1.1, and Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers V2.1. The transition for these products is scheduled to occur before the end of the summer. Contact: Maryline Rassi.

ANSI Standards Now Available
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved twelve AHRI standards on April 16 and 17, 2012, and all have become American National Standards. The following is a list of the AHRI standards with their new designation. All are available on the AHRI website, ANSI website, and others:
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 260-2011, Sound Rating of Ducted Air Moving and Conditioning Equipment
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 280-2011, Requirements for the Qualification of Reverberation Rooms in the 63 Hz Octave Band
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 490 (I-P)-2011, Performance Rating of Remote Mechanical-Draft Evaporatively-Cooled Refrigerant Condensers
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 491 (SI)-2011, Performance Rating of Remote Mechanical-Draft Evaporatively-Cooled Refrigerant Condensers
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 551/591-2011, Performance Rating Of Water-Chilling and Heat Pump Water-Heating Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 910-2011, Performance Rating of Indoor Pool Dehumidifiers
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 1210 (I-P)-2011, Performance Rating of Variable Frequency Drives
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 1211 (SI)-2011, Performance Rating of Variable Frequency Drives
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 1270 (I-P)-2011, Requirements for Seismic Qualification of HVACR Equipment
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 1271 (SI)-2011, Requirements for Seismic Qualification of HVACR Equipment
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 1320 (I-P)-2011, Performance Rating of Commercial Refrigerated Display Merchandisers and Storage Cabinets for Use With Secondary Refrigerants
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 1321 (SI)-2011, Performance Rating of Commercial Refrigerated Display Merchandisers and Storage Cabinets for Use With Secondary Refrigerants
One additional standard is expected to be approved and available in early May 2012:
  • ANSI/AHRI Standard 550/590 (I-P)-2011, Performance Rating Of Water-Chilling and Heat Pump Water-Heating Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle
Contact: Danny Abbate.

AHRI Staff Participate in Beijing UNEP Refrigerant Roundtable
At the invitation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek and Research Manager Xudong Wang participated in an Ozone2Climate Industry Roundtable April 13, 2012, in Beijing, China.  The Roundtable was sponsored by the OzonAction Program of UNEP and the China Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Industry Association (CRAA), and held in conjunction with the China Refrigeration and Heating Exhibition, at which AHRI exhibited.

In his talk during the Roundtable, Yurek discussed the future of refrigerants in light of the nearly complete developing nation phase out of HCFCs and the pending further regulation of their successors, HFCs.  He offered his audience several things to think about, including maintaining refrigerant choice, evaluating refrigerant characteristics so as to choose the appropriate one for each application, and ensuring that the transition to new refrigerants is as smooth and informed as possible. The roundtable session was repeated for a global Web audience later the same day.

In his presentation, Wang discussed several completed and ongoing AHRI refrigerant research programs conducted under the auspices of AHRI’s research arm, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Institute.  These include the Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP), Materials Compatibility and Lubricants Research  (MCLR) for Low GWP Alternative Refrigerants, Risk Assessment of Residential Heat Pump Systems Using A2L Low GWP Refrigerants, and the Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) model. Both Yurek’s and Wang’s presentations can be viewed here. Contact: Francis Dietz.

AHRI Participates in China Refrigeration Heating Exhibition 2012
AHRI participated in the 2012 China Refrigeration Heating (CRH) Exhibition held in Beijing, China, April 11-13.  Initiated in 1987, the show has grown into one of the larger HVACR and water heating exhibitions in the world, with over 1,000 exhibitors, 40,000 visitors, and occupying nearly 300,000 square feet.  The show is certified by the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service of Department of Commerce as meeting the agency’s standards for international trade shows. 

In conjunction with the show, AHRI participated in numerous meetings with government, global partners, and the media, and conducted a training session on new requirements for chiller testing with the General Machinery Product Inspection Institute (GMPI), the laboratory under contract with AHRI to conduct certification testing for chillers in China.  The 2013 CRH show will be held in Shanghai, April 8-10. Contact: Francis Dietz.

Draft Documents for Ecodesign Lot 6 Raise Concerns
The consultants for the Ecodesign Directive Enterprise Lot 6 – Air Conditioning and Ventilation Systems [greater than 12kW ] – have published new draft reports (for Task 6 and 7) that propose policy options to prescribe the use of certain low GWP refrigerants, and ban the use of high GWP refrigerants after 2019, for this type of equipment. In fact, the Task 7 document introduces a bonus concept (i.e. less stringent minimum energy efficiency requirements) for equipment using low GWP refrigerants. The report defines low GWP refrigerants as having a GWP of 675 or below, and defines high GWP refrigerants as above 675. The reports are part of a preparatory study that is used by the European Commission to determine the prescriptive requirements and implementing measures in the Directive.

The rationale for these proposed requirements is that “implementing only energy efficiency measures could prove counterproductive if no additional measure is taken to mitigate the direct emissions related to the refrigerant losses of the products.” This is the same rationale used for Ecodesign Lot 10 (air conditioning up to 12kW), which now includes a bonus scheme for low GWP refrigerants (defined in this case as less than 150 GWP). AHRI questions the rationale for these bonuses because it would seem that the indirect impact on CO2 from the less efficient equipment would be greater than the total emission of the higher GWP refrigerants since the charges are relatively small.

AHRI Member Products Affected (more than 12kW) by Task 7 for Air Conditioning

1. Air conditioners
  • Packaged air conditioner, split and multi split air conditioners, VRF systems
2. Chillers for air conditioning applications

3. Air conditioning condensing units

4. Terminal units to extract heat from the space to be conditioned
  • Fan coils
5. Heat rejection units means from the cooling system
  • Cooling Towers
  • Evaporatively-cooled liquid cooler
  • Dry coolers
More information is available here. Contact: Shelley Pursell.



APRIL 12, 2012

AHRI’s Annual Report Now Available
AHRI’s 2011 Annual Report was distributed at the Public Policy Symposium, which took place in Washington, D.C., last month. The Annual Report highlights AHRI’s many achievements in 2011, including receiving the Super Nova of Energy Efficiency Award from the Alliance to Save Energy, and the Department of Energy’s adoption of consensus agreements negotiated by AHRI. Copies will be available at the Spring Meeting, but you can also view the online version of the Annual Report here. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

A Week’s Worth of Industry News
Sign up to receive the AHRI Weekly Digest, a lively Monday afternoon email bulletin that provides a quick, but incisive, look at the week in news, both domestically and globally.  Stories include economic reports, industry happenings, and manufacturing-related news of interest to AHRI members. Click here to subscribe to this free e-newsletter. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

Updated AHRI Membership Roster Now Available
The AHRI Membership Roster has been updated. Among its many useful features, the April 2012 edition includes a staff organizational chart and directory, a list of standing and business committees, and a directory for AHRI’s Board of Directors. Only AHRI members may access the roster, available online here. Contact: Stephanie Murphy.

DOE Grants AHRI Request for Extension on Comment Period for Workforce Guidelines
As reported last week in the AHRI Update, AHRI joined several other organizations, including the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, the American Gas Association, and the International Code Council, in petitioning the Department of Energy (DOE) to extend the comment period for the revised version of the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals: Standard Work Specifications for Single Family Energy Upgrades. DOE has verbally informed us that the comment period will be extended until May 15, 2012.  A notice in the Federal Register is expected shortly.

DOE is specifically seeking comments from interested parties regarding the removal of specifications related to the installation of HVAC equipment. As the stated purpose of this project is to credential weatherization professionals in their respective areas of expertise, AHRI has consistently advocated for the removal of all references to HVAC installation in the guidelines and related documents, to ensure reliance on professionals with existing HVAC-specific credentials. Contact: Phillip Wallace or Jennifer Silvi.

AHRI Comments on DOE Proposal for Commercial Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heating Equipment
On April 2, 2012, AHRI submitted comments on the Department of Energy’s (DOE)  Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  (NOPR), Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment: Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Commercial Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heating Equipment, issued in January 2012.  AHRI’s comments generally supported DOE’s proposals to update the standards it references for test procedures, recommended that the new efficiency standards for computer room air conditioners use the soon-to-be-finalized new edition of ASHRAE Standard 127, and noted issues concerning DOE’s proposals to incorporate certain aspects of AHRI’s certification program Operating Manuals.  The comments also questioned the inclusion of some test tolerance and verification issues in this rulemaking as presented in the Supplemental NOPR published only 10 days before the comment deadline.  Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Comments on CEC’s Proposed 2013 Building Energy Standards
AHRI has submitted a series of comments to the California Energy Commission (CEC) regarding the proposed 2013 edition of its Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards issued in late February. The comments address CEC proposals covering commercial boilers, water heaters, commercial refrigeration, fractional HVAC motors for fans, low leakage air-handling units, residential zoned air conditioning, drive mechanism for air economizers and return air dampers on an individual cooling fan system, and design and control requirements for quantities of outdoor air. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE has announced public review (April 6-May 6, 2012) of BSR/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Addendum z to ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Addendum z ISC adds new requirements in Table C-16 in Appendix C, of ASHRAE Standard 189.1, which covers efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment.

The first public review of BSR/ASHRAE Standard 84-2008R, Method of Testing Air-to-Air Heat/Energy Exchangers, closes May 21, 2012. This revision provides rules for the testing of air-to-air heat/energy exchangers. This new edition stipulates the desired uncertainty while allowing laboratories the flexibility of selecting various testing apparatus as long as the uncertainty limits are satisfied. This revision also provides reformatted versions of the fundamental effectiveness equations (1-1) and (1-2) and the developed effectiveness equation (30). In addition, this edition addresses the impacts on test validity of testing at conditions in which condensate and frosting can occur. Click here to submit comments. Contact: Michael Woodford.

Laura Petrillo Promoted to Senior Certification Engineer
AHRI’s Laura Petrillo was promoted this week to the position of Senior Certification Engineer. Laura joined AHRI more than two years ago with relevant experience in HVAC consulting, and with LEED and PE credentials. She has held the position of certification engineer responsible for the Forced Circulation Air-Cooling and Air-Heating Coils, Central Station Air-Handling Units, Unit Ventilators, Room Fan Coils certification programs, as well as the Humidifiers and Fluid Pumps Product Sections. Contact: Bill Tritsis.

New Certification Participant
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participant to its certification program (program in italics):
  • United Electric L.P. dba Magic Aire – Central Station Air-Handling Units (AHU)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

Consultation Open for EU’s Commercial Refrigeration Products Ecodesign Directive
Through the Energy-related Products Directive, also known as Ecodesign, a final stakeholder consultation to gather evidence for the European Commission’s Impact Assessment consultation is being conducted for Professional Refrigeration Products (ENTR Lot 1). This is an important step in the Ecodesign process, as it allows industry to provide technical and other pertinent information to the consultants conducting the study that will serve as the guideline for the draft Directive.

The products covered under Enterprise Lot 1 include:
  • Condensing units
  • Industrial process chillers
  • Blast cabinets
  • Walk-in cold rooms
  • Professional storage cabinets
There are several questionnaires on the different applications covered under ENTR Lot 1 (except professional storage cabinets; the consultation on possible requirements for professional storage cabinets will be conducted in June 2012). The consultation is open until May 10, 2012, and comments should be emailed to ecodesign@taitconsulting.co.uk.

AHRI will not submit comments, but encourages manufacturers that sell products included within the scope in the European Union to file comments. The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) plans to coordinate common responses from the questionnaire and submit them. Contact: Shelley Pursell.

AHRI Attends and Exhibits at CMX-CIPHEX Show in Canada
AHRI certification engineers Ayk Yilmaz and Umair Surani attended the CMX-CIPHEX trade show in Toronto, Ontario, March 22-24. They promoted the fundamentals and importance of AHRI certification to HVACR and water heating contractors and manufacturers.  They also met with AHRI members attending the show and with potential applicants for AHRI certification programs.  Umair and Ayk attended several learning forums during the trade show to broaden their knowledge of current technology and trends in the HVACR industry. Contact: Aykut Yilmaz.

APRIL 5, 2012

AHRI Spring Meeting to Feature Special Members-Only Session on Regulatory Enforcement
AHRI members are invited to register for the 2012 Spring Meeting, to be held May 9-11, 2012, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

AHRI will present a special members-only session, DOE Rulemakings, Enforcement, and Regulatory Compliance, on the evening of Thursday, May 10. In addition, Thursday’s luncheon will feature guest speakers Kathleen Vokes and Abigail Daken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who will discuss enhanced ENERGY STAR verification, testing, enforcement requirements, and the role of Certifying Bodies such as AHRI. They also will highlight selection requirements, pass/fail criteria, and specifications for HVAC products.

The AHRI Spring Meeting is the place to reconnect with industry colleagues and hear about the latest issues affecting the industry.  Most of AHRI’s product sections will meet to discuss product-specific standards, certification, communications, statistics, and policy issues; and AHRI staff will again present the Need-to-Know session, alerting members to developments on issues relevant to our members and the industry.

The hotel reservation cut-off date is April 16.  Register now for the AHRI 2012 Spring Meeting. Contact: Brittany Buchanan.

CSA’s Sue Dempsey to Retire
CSA’s Sue Dempsey, Vice President Global Business Unit, Consumer Product Evaluation/OnSpeX, announced her retirement last week. She joined CSA 12 years ago as CSA International’s first Director of Sales, and previously served as the VP of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. Sue is credited with developing customer relationships with The Home Depot, Lowes, and Canadian Tire, and for pioneering new services in North America and China. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

Senate Confirms New Department of Energy General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of EERE
On March 29, the U.S. Senate confirmed four nominees for positions within the Department of Energy (DOE), including a new General Counsel, Gregory Woods, and a new Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), David Danielson.  Danielson was previously a program director at DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, and a clean energy venture capitalist.  He replaces Kathy Zoi, who left her post one year ago.  Gregory Woods was previously the general counsel at the Department of Transportation.  Contact: Dave Calabrese.

American National Standards Institute Announces Energy Efficiency Meeting
On April 25, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the private-sector-led U.S. voluntary standardization system, will host an exploratory meeting to examine the need for an Energy Efficiency Standards Panel (EESP). The panel would develop a standardization roadmap for energy efficiency initiatives in the United States.

Where: FHI 360 Conference Center
1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW
8th Floor (Academy Hall)
Washington, DC 20009-5721
When: April 25, 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

AHRI staff will attend the meeting and report to members on results. Registration is free and is open to all interested stakeholders. Register here. Contact: Jim Walters.

DOE Releases Revised Version of Workforce Guidelines
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has released the revised version of the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals: Standard Work Specifications for Single Family Energy Upgrades. Through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), EERE is developing specifications for the work involved in home energy upgrades. Comments are due next Friday, April 11. Due to the lengthy, robust content of the document, and the extremely short deadline, AHRI and several other organizations have requested an extension of the comment period.

Specifically, DOE is seeking comments from interested parties regarding the removal of specifications related to the installation of HVAC equipment (Federal Register Vol. 77, No. 61). As the stated purpose of this project is to credential weatherization professionals in their respective areas of expertise, AHRI has consistently advocated for the removal of all references to HVAC installation in the guidelines and related documents, to ensure reliance on professionals with existing HVAC-specific credentials. Contact: Phillip Wallace or Jennifer Silvi.

Congress Enjoys Spring Recess
The House and Senate are in recess until Monday, April 16. Elected officials take this recess opportunity to spend time on constituent needs back home.  AHRI encourages you to take this time to invite your local Congressman or Senator to visit your facilities.  As we approach the November election, Congress is increasingly focused on jobs and the economy, so this is a great time to educate your representative on the impact you have on the local and state economy.

If you need assistance in locating contact information for your representative, please do not hesitate to contact the government relations team at AHRI. In addition to inviting your elected official, be sure to check your voter registration status and identify your polling place in advance of the November 6 elections.  AHRI has created a voting center page on its website with election-related information. Contact: Cade Clark.

Office of Management and Budget Invites Input on Supplementing Consensus Standards Circular
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) invites input on its consideration of whether and how to supplement Circular A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities (see March 30 Federal Register notice). Final responses must be submitted by April 30, 2012.  AHRI plans to submit comments, and staff will provide suggested comments to members in advance of the deadline.

OMB has announced a public workshop at the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on May 15, 2012.  The workshop will include presentations from key government officials, industry, and experts on standards and conformity assessment issues. Time will be allotted for participant input and discussions.

Also, a complementary NIST workshop, Conformity Assessment: Approaches and Best Practices, will take place on April 11, 2012, to seek input from individuals on the planned update of Guidance on Federal Conformity Assessment Activities, issued by NIST in 2000 (see also 77 FR 15719; March 16, 2012). Contact Mike Woodford.

EPA Issues Final Draft ENERGY STAR Test Method for Automatic Commercial Ice Makers
On March 29, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final draft ENERGY STAR test method for automatic commercial ice makers (ACIM). Comments on this test method are due to EPA by April 18, 2012. As far as ENERGY STAR qualification is concerned, EPA intends to reference the test procedure that was published in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) January 11, 2012, final rule. On January 20, 2012, DOE and EPA published a draft test method for ice makers designed to be connected to remote rack compressors. The final draft test method incorporates various stakeholder comments and proposes the following revisions:
  • Units that are designed for connection to ONLY remote rack compressors are excluded from the scope of the ENERGY STAR Program for ACIMs.
  • Units that are designed for connection to remote rack compressors and are sold (with the same model number) with a dedicated remote condensing unit are included in the scope. The test method provides a proposed method for determining the efficiency of these systems.
  • Testing variable purge setting based on as-shipped condition.
EPA intends to finalize the test method and Version 2.0 of the ACIM ENERGY STAR specification by April 30, 2012. Effective February 1, 2013, all units will be required to meet the Version 2.0 requirements and be third party certified. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

Cooling Standards Subcommittee Meets
AHRI’s Cooling Standards Subcommittee (CSS) convened for a web conference meeting on March 28, and approved the following AHRI standards and guidelines:
  • AHRI Standard 110 – 2012, Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigerating Equipment Nameplate Voltages;
  • AHRI Guideline N-2012, Assignment of Refrigerant Container Colors;
  • Addendum 2 to AHRI Standard 210/240-2008, Performance Rating of Unitary Air Conditioning and Air-Source Heat Pump Equipment; and
  • Interpretation No. 5 of AHRI Standard 1200 (I-P)-2010 AND AHRI Standard 1201 (SI)-2010, Performance Rating of Commercial Refrigerated Display Merchandisers and Storage Cabinets.
Proposed draft new AHRI Standards 570 (I-P) and 571 (SI), Performance Rating of Positive Displacement Carbon Dioxide Refrigerant Compressors and Compressor Units, were reviewed and returned to the Compressor Section’s Engineering Committee for final modifications. All of AHRI’s standards and guidelines are free to download here. Contact: Mike Woodford.

AHRI Participates in International Standards Training
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) presented international standards training to AHRI members and staff on March 27-28. The course, ISO Secretariat Operations Training Course – Taking the Secret out of the Secretariat, addressed the international standards development process and effective management techniques.  The training covered the roles and responsibilities of committee officers and advice on preparing for and conducting meetings. The course, U.S. TAG Operations Course – Strengthening the U.S. Voice in International Standardization, addressed processes and operating procedures of ANSI-accredited U.S. technical advisory groups (TAGs) to ISO.  The training covered requirements and rules for developing positions, as well as how to be an effective international delegate at committee meetings. Contact: Mike Woodford.

Public Review of Addenda to ASHRAE Standards 62.2-2010
ASHRAE has invited comments on addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The draft addenda can be accessed here.
Comments on the following addenda are due April 22, 2012:
  • Addendum a:  This proposed addendum removes Method A of ASTM E1554 as an option for the duct tightness testing in the new proposed Section A4.1.
  • Addendum o:  This proposed change clarifies that a system must be operated in order to achieve the stated purpose of the standard to define minimum requirements for acceptable indoor air quality.  This proposed change makes it clear that the override control is modifying or suspending normal operation.
  • Addendum q:  This proposed change is needed to clarify that the whole building ventilation rate can be credited towards the local exhaust rate, and that the rates are not required to be additive.
Comments on the following addenda are due May 7, 2012:
  • Addendum p:  This proposed change prevents the standard from being perceived as requiring full updating to code in order to comply, including possible replacement of all combustion appliances. The addition of the Performance Approach to 6.4.2 allows for demonstrated combustion safety.
  • Addendum r:  This proposed addendum removes any credit for assumed infiltration. It does not change the overall target ventilation rate, and credit for measured infiltration is still allowed.  This change is consistent with the total ventilation rate method in the recently-published Addendum n and also with the recently-published addendum on multifamily buildings.
Contact: Mike Woodford.

Chemicals and Refrigerant Reclaimers Section Working Toward Purity Standard for Hydrocarbons
The Chemicals and Refrigerant Reclaimers Section has tasked the Standard 700 Subcommittee with drafting a purity standard for hydrocarbons, and with considering the addition of carbon dioxide and ammonia to AHRI Standard 700-2011, Specification for Fluorocarbon Refrigerants. Currently, the standard covers purity specifications for fluorocarbons only. A working group was formed last year to address this issue and possibly incorporate hydrocarbons into a new part of AHRI Standard 700. The next scheduled teleconference of the working group is Thursday, April 12. Meetings are open to all interested parties. If you would like to participate, contact Maryline Rassi.

Department of Commerce to Host Meeting on European Union Regulations
On May 23, the Department of Commerce will host a meeting on the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), Waste of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), and Energy Related Products (Ecodesign) Directives. The purpose of this meeting is to clarify some of the details about these directives and their implementation plans. The presenters are Steve Andrews, Head of Environmental Regulation for the Green Economy Team of the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills, United Kingdom; and Chris Smith, Technical Manager, National Measurement Office Enforcement Authority, United Kingdom. AHRI staff will be present at the meeting.

The meeting will be held in-person and via teleconference from 10-noon EDT. There is no cost to attend this meeting. RSVP: Robert.Straetz@trade.gov, or call (202) 482-4496 by Monday May 21. Contact: Shelley Pursell.

AHRI Staff Attends Italian Trade Show
AHRI staff members Frank Stanonik and Ayk Yilmaz attended the Mostro Covegno Expocomfort trade show in Milan, Italy, last week.  The show featured the latest models of heating, cooling and water heater products being sold in Europe throughout 16 buildings, and presentations on the European perspective on zero energy buildings and the European heating and cooling market. Staff met with some of AHRI's international members exhibiting at the show, and also with the Executive Director of the European Heating Institute (EHI), Felix Van Eyken, to discuss the status of European efficiency requirements for boilers and water heaters and the concepts being considered for verification of product compliance. Contact: Frank Stanonik.