AHRI Update: April 2013
 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 25, 2013

AHRI Goes Paperless
Beginning with the Spring Meeting in May, AHRI will implement a new paperless policy.  AHRI meeting attendees will be expected to bring copies of agendas, minutes, and other exhibits, as needed. However, members are encouraged to rely on the AHRI mobile app to view open session agendas and exhibits, or use smartphones or tablets to view documents that were e-mailed in advance of the meetings, rather than bringing printed copies. This new policy will allow AHRI to reduce our environmental impact, improve productivity, and save money on printed materials that largely go to waste at meetings.   
AHRI members who plan to participate in the Spring Meeting have received copies of meeting materials via e-mail. Product section executive assistants will e-mail additional copies of meeting materials in advance of the meeting, upon request. Open session agendas are available on the Members Only website, under Resources, or in AHRI’s mobile app, available for download from your smartphone or tablet. Alternatively, you can scan the QR code at the right to download the app. Contact: Monica Cardenas.  

AHRI Video Update: Vice President of Public Affairs Francis Dietz
In the newest edition of the AHRI Video Update, Vice President of Public Affairs Francis Dietz gives an overview of the programming for this year's 2013 Spring Meeting. The meeting will be held May 8-10 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. To register, please click here. Contact: Sean Lynch.

Potential Gas Committee Reports U.S. Natural Gas Resources at Record Levels
On April 9, the American Gas Association (AGA) held a press conference with the Potential Gas Committee (PGC) to release the findings of the PGC’s year-end 2012 biennial report:Potential Supply of Natural Gas in the United States. The new assessment finds that the United States possesses a technically recoverable natural gas resource potential of 2,384 trillion cubic feet – the highest evaluation in the PGC’s 48-year history. Contact: Sean Lynch.

AHRI Welcomes New Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome Temspec as a member of the Air Conditioning Heat Transfer Product Section. Contact: Freshta Rosario.

Energy and Indoor Environment Conference - Call for Papers
The Conference on Energy and Indoor Environment for Hot Climates will take place February 24-26, 2014, in Doha, Qatar. Authors are invited to submit abstracts by April 30, 2013, and those selected will receive free accommodations for three nights. Details are available here. The Conference, co-sponsored by AHRI, is organized by ASHRAE, ASHRAE Qatar Oryx Chapter, and the Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

Submit Nomination for Best Instructor
The ACHR News is now accepting nominations for its annual Best Instructor and Best Trainer contest. The program recognizes and rewards HVACR instructors and trainers who have dedicated their careers to enriching the lives of students. Submit nominations here. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Shaheen-Portman Bill
On April 23, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on S. 761, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

The legislation, formerly referred to as S.1000 and passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with broad support during the 112th Congress, has undergone some minor changes. Provisions in the previous bill that would have established a revolving state grant program and expanded a federal loan guarantee program for energy efficiency projects were removed and replaced with a state-based private financing program to encourage industrial efficiency upgrades. In addition, the bill contains language allowing DOE to suggest efficiency goals to ASHRAE and ICC as they develop standards and codes.

At the hearing, Senator Portman touted the measure as a job creator and revenue generator, saying that its $570 million price tag would be completely offset. “The measure would create 80,000 new jobs and save about $4 billion each year by 2020, and would avoid emissions akin to taking five million cars off the road,” he said. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

North America Proposes Amendments to Control HFCs in Montreal Protocol
The United States, Canada, and Mexico recently submitted a proposed amendment to the Montreal Protocol seeking a global freeze and phasedown of HFC production and consumption. The amendment has been submitted five years in a row, but has failed to gain the necessary traction for adoption. This year, the proposal contains several changes, including more recent data for establishment of the baseline, removal of HFOs from the proposal, and reducing the necessary steps to reach the ultimate phasedown for developed countries. 

The amendment will be considered at the meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group of the Montreal Protocol beginning June 24 in Bangkok, and at the Meeting of the Parties in October. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

AHRI Unitary Regulatory Committee Meets in Arlington
The AHRI Unitary Regulatory Committee met on April 18 to discuss several regulatory and legislative issues impacting manufacturers of furnaces, unitary air conditioners, and heat pumps. AHRI staff provided an update on the APGA litigation regarding regional standards for residential furnaces, and briefed the Committee on a number of rulemakings currently underway at the Department of Energy (DOE). The Committee discussed future collaboration with the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and provided guidance to staff on 25C tax credit requirements as they relate to residential furnaces and central air conditioners. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI Certification Programs Achieve Exemplary ENERGY STAR Compliance Rates in 2012
AHRI announced on April 22 that its 2012 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR compliance rates across eight product sections averaged 97.2 percent, far exceeding the overall average ENERGY STAR compliance rate of 93 percent.

“These high compliance rates warrant recognition from regulatory bodies and industry officials alike,” said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek. “They demonstrate the integrity of our certification program and the commitment of our program participants to quality and accuracy."

Detailed information about the compliance ratings can be found here. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

IEC/TC 72 Working Groups Meet in Morristown, N.J.
Several working groups (WG) of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 72 recently met at Honeywell International’s corporate headquarters in Morristown, N.J. IEC/TC 72 is responsible for standards covering automatic electrical controls for use in or on heating and air conditioning equipment and components. Twenty attendees representing Canada, Denmark, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States were in attendance.

The WGs developed proposed revisions to the standards for Automatic Electrical Controls, IEC 60730-1, part 1 general requirements; and several of the part 2 standards, including specific standards for temperature and pressure sensing, burner controls, timers, thermal motor protectors, actuators, and more. These standards address electrical and electronics safety as well as safe software used in controls. The part 1 standard and most of the part 2 standards have either been adopted or adapted for use in North America in parallel with legacy standards covering the same product. Those legacy standards will be phased out over time. Contact: Dave Delaquila.

Certification Programs and Policy Committee Meets in Arlington
The Certification Programs and Policy Committee met on April 18 to review testing progress for 2012 and 2013. The Committee reviewed key performance indicators for measuring the performance of the testing labs, as well as some of the testing challenges that affect the test completion rate for some programs. The members of the committee approved a revised General Operations Manual (OM), as well as the Refrigerant Testing Lab, Liquid-to-Liquid Heat Exchanger, and Residential Furnace program-specific operations manuals. Contact:Bill Tritsis.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE invites public commentary on several Public Review Draft Standards. Those interested in providing comments can do so by accessing the ASHRAE website before May 19. Contact: Mike Woodford.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • International Refrigeration Products – Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC)
  • International Refrigeration Products – Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps (PTHP)
  • Electrolux Home Products, Inc. – Unitary Small Air Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USAC)
  • Electrolux Home Products, Inc. – Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

April 18, 2013

DOE Schedules First Meeting of the Commercial Equipment Certification Working Group
On April 16, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the first meeting of the newly formed Commercial Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Water Heating, and Refrigeration Certification Working Group will be held Tuesday, April 30, from 9 am to 5 pm at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C. The mission of the Working Group is to undertake a negotiated rulemaking to develop consensus certification requirements for commercial HVAC, water heating, and refrigeration equipment. The group is comprised of 25 members representing industry, utilities, and advocacy groups, and includes several AHRI members and staff. A complete list of committee members can be found here. Contact: Karim Amrane.

EPA Proposes to Exempt Certain Hydrocarbons from Venting Provisions of Section 608
On April 12, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice in the Federal Register proposing to exempt three hydrocarbons from the venting, release, and disposal prohibitions contained in Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. The three hydrocarbons are isobutane (R–600a), R–441A, and propane (R–290), which have been listed as acceptable substitutes subject to use conditions under EPA’s Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) Program. The proposed exemption to the venting prohibition would not apply to hydrocarbon blends containing any amount of CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, or PFCs. The EPA is proposing this exemption on the basis of current evidence that the venting, release, and disposal of these three substitutes does not pose a significant threat to the environment. EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule until June 11. Contact: Karim Amrane.

Comment Period Reopened for Safer Consumer Product Regulations
On April 10, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued a revised text of proposed regulations that establish the process for identifying and prioritizing consumer products and their chemicals of concern; evaluating their alternatives; and imposing regulatory responses.

The DTSC mailed the original text and made it available for public review and comment on July 27, 2012. A public hearing was held on September 10, 2012, during which the DTSC accepted written and oral testimony. In addition, written comments were accepted during the 45-day public comment period, which was extended by 30 days, and ended October 11, 2012. The AHRI comments that were submitted in October can be accessed here. AHRI’s comments noted that the Department’s intent to publish lists of chemicals of concern (COC) and priority products after the effective date of the regulations would create an uncertain regulatory environment for our industry. AHRI stated that the proposed compliance periods for the alternatives analysis reports were too stringent, and that the DTSC should make every effort to avoid posting confidential business information on its website. In addition, AHRI urged that the DTSC account for regulations issued by other federal and state agencies and avoid any unnecessary duplication. The DTSC’s latest revision partially addresses this issue.

A written comment period for the April 10 revisions will be open until 5:00 p.m. PDT on April 25. Comments can be submitted to the DTSC by email at, by fax at (916) 324-1808, or by mail to: Ms. Jackie Buttle, Acting Regulations Coordinator, Department of Toxic Substances Control, P.O. Box 806 Sacramento, CA 95812-0806. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

Update on South Coast Air Quality Management District Rule 1111 Activities
In accordance with the November 2009 revision of Rule 1111, NOx Emissions from Natural Gas-Fired, Fan-Type Central Furnaces, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) staff was required to provide a report to its Governing Board on the status of technology to achieve the 14 ng/J of heat output NOx emission limit specified for residential natural gas furnaces and scheduled to go into effect in 2014. At the March 1 meeting of the Governing Board, the SCAQMD staff reported on the status of four research projects that are attempting to develop a residential furnace that can comply with the 14 ng/J NOx emission limit. The staff noted that preliminary results indicate that the 14 ng/J limit is achievable, but that the projects were taking longer than expected and will not be completed until September. The Board accepted the staff’s recommendation to delay the presentation of the Final Technology Assessment for this rule until the fourth quarter of 2013.

In addition, the SCAQMD staff held the first task force meeting on January 22 for Proposed Rule 1111.1, Reductions from Commercial Space Heating, which will establish a NOx emission limit for natural gas-fired furnaces with input rates =175,000 Btu/h and =2 million Btu/h. The main purpose of this meeting was to discuss various issues relating to rule development. The staff noted that a public workshop to start the development of the rule will be held later this year, but that its priority is to get revised Rule 1111 resolved before major work on proposed rule 1111.1. During this meeting AHRI staff emphasized the need to clearly define products to be covered by 1111.1. AHRI staff will consult with its members that manufacture commercial gas-fired heating equipment to develop recommendations on this proposed rule. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

HRAI Manufacturers and Wholesalers Product Sections Meet in Ontario
On April 10, the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) held its manufacturers and wholesalers product section meeting in Mississauga, Ontario. AHRI staff actively participated in the Refrigeration, Controls, and Heating & Air Conditioning product section meetings of the HRAI Manufacturers Division. Topics discussed at the meetings included the BC Electronic Stewardship Plan, building codes, NRCan regulations, and other key industry issues, such as standards activities related to the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). During the product section meetings, AHRI staff reported on U.S. regulatory activities, including the ongoing litigation of the residential furnace regional standards, the rulemaking on residential furnace fans, and the final rulemaking on the allocation of HCFCs. Contact: Karim Amrane.

Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing Manufacturers Meet in Arlington
The corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) manufacturers of the AHRI Flexible Metallic Gas Piping Systems Section met at AHRI Headquarters in Arlington, Va., on April 10. Topics included proposals to the National Fuel Gas Code, NFPA 54/ANSI Z223.1, as well as changes to ANSI/CSA LC-1, Fuel Gas Piping Systems Using Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing. The members also discussed the status of the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ CSST safety campaign, which included updates from several states that are considering legislation on bonding of gas piping. Contact: Danny Abbate.

AHRI Participates in Forum on Building a Stronger National Standardized Network
On April 11, AHRI staff participated in a forum to explore new avenues to address the standardization needs for North America. Key industry stakeholders identified and discussed sources of redundant costs to cross border trade resulting from poorly aligned regulatory objectives and duplicative standards and certification requirements between Canada and the United States.

Karim Amrane, AHRI Vice President, Regulatory & Research, presented on AHRI’s issues and concerns affecting HVACR and water heating manufacturers. He reported on diverging Canadian and U.S. HVACR and water heater standards as an unnecessary burden for industry and consumers, noting that such de-harmonization results in added costs for producers as well as higher prices and less choice for consumers. In addition, he reported on the earlier AHRI - HRAI submission on this subject to the Canada/U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).

In addition, the forum included presentations from:
  • John Walter, CEO - Standards Council of Canada (SCC);
  • Ralph Suppa, President & General Manager - Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH);
  • Kevin Wong, Technical Advisor - CIPH;
  • Jim Taggart CEO & President - Electro-Federation Canada (EFC); and
  • Bill Bryans, Vice President, Technical Services - Electrical, EFC.
Those in attendance worked to develop a set of common principles. Contact: Karim Amrane.

ASHRAE Issues Call for Comments
ASHRAE invites public commentary on the following Public Review Draft Standards. Those interested in providing comments can do so by accessing the ASHRAE website before May 12.
  • Public Review of ASHRAE Standard 147-2002R, Reducing the Release of Halogenated Refrigerants from Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Equipment and Systems. This revision updates the 2002 edition of Standard 147 by expanding the number of equipment types and systems covered, providing significant requirements for field-erected systems, adding more requirements on leak checking, adding requirements for systems with larger charges, and making many formerly recommended practices mandatory. After consideration of comments received on the fourth independent substantive change public review, the committee has proposed the changes included in this public review draft.
  • Public Review of ASHRAE Addendum g to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2010, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems. This addendum adds a number of clarifying requirements to over-pressure protection for refrigeration systems. It clarifies requirements for relief vent lines terminating to the atmosphere and removes an explicit provision for discharging ammonia to a water diffusion tank.
Contact: Michael Woodford.

AHRI Participates in UNEP Roundtable
At the invitation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek participated in the Ozone2Climate Industry Roundtable on April 9, in Shanghai, China. The Roundtable was sponsored by 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 presentation, Yurek discussed the current and future state of our industry’s refrigerant research, as well as education and training needs in light of the nearly complete developing nation phase-out of HCFCs and the pending further regulation of their successors, high GWP refrigerants. He offered insights to his audience and posed questions to them on a variety of topics, including maintaining refrigerant choice; evaluating refrigerant characteristics for informed choices; making the coming refrigerant transition predictable, smooth, and informed; and educating and training technicians. In addition, Yurek emphasized that the objective when choosing refrigerants cannot only be low-GWP, but must also involve an evaluation of safety, energy efficiency, availability, and cost.

Yurek also discussed several completed and ongoing AHRI refrigerant research programs. These include the Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP); Risk Assessment of Residential Heat Pump Systems Using A2L Low GWP Refrigerants; and Defining the Configurations of Residential Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Systems Using Hydrocarbons, Ammonia, Carbon Dioxide, and HFO-1234yf as Refrigerants and Meeting Previously Defined Safety Requirements. The presentation can be viewed here. Contact:Francis Dietz.

AHRI Participates in 2013 China Refrigeration and Heating Exhibition
AHRI participated in the 2013 China Refrigeration Heating Exhibition in Shanghai China from April 8-10. Initiated in 1987, the show has grown into one of the most important HVACR and water heating exhibitions in the world, welcoming more than 1,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors from over 100 countries. The show is certified by the Foreign Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce as meeting the high standards of international trade shows.

This year, AHRI jointly occupied a booth with ASHRAE and the China Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry Association (CRAA) Certification Company to highlight the cooperation among the three organizations in the areas of standards and certification. In addition to educating the many visitors to AHRI’s booth about our certification programs, the AHRI delegation also met with the Korea Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Assessment Center, renewing a Memorandum of Understanding on Standards and Certification that paved the way for a closer working relationship. As in the past, a joint AHRI, ASERCOM, and CRAA meeting was held to discuss standard harmonization efforts among U.S., China, and the EU for compressors and condensing units. Other activities included a well-received AHRI certification seminar focusing on the AHRI chiller and variable refrigerant flow certification programs, and visits to the General Machinery Product Inspection Institute (GMPI) of Heifei and several manufacturing facilities, during which AHRI learned more about certification and testing needs in China. Contact: Henry Hwong.

April 11, 2013

Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching for the AHRI 2013 Spring Meeting

Tomorrow is the last day to receive the early bird discount when registering for the AHRI 2013 Spring Meeting, to be held May 8-10 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. We hope you will take this opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and AHRI staff, while learning about the most important issues facing our industry. Register by April 12 and save $50 on your registration fee. Please note that the AHRI Spring Meeting is open only to employees of member companies and invited guests. Contact: Brittany Buchanan.

National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio Webinar Announced
On April 30, at Noon PDT, the Washington State University Energy Program will host a webinar on the National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio. The Portfolio reflects the input of experts from more than 100 organizations across North America, including AHRI and its members, on a diverse range of topics. The Portfolio is intended to help industries, utilities, and government agencies prioritize technologies and optimize limited R&D funds, as well as provide an understanding of the kinds of products and services solicited by utilities. The Bonneville Power Administration provided financial support to develop the Portfolio, which can be downloaded here. Register here. Contact: Xudong Wang.

AHRI Hosts Meeting with Intertek
Members of Intertek’s management team visited the AHRI headquarters on March 26 for a quarterly meeting to review certification program testing progress and to discuss the proposals for the 2014-2017 AHRI testing contracts. Intertek and AHRI have developed a 12-month plan for 2013 testing that requires the timely delivery of testing samples to create a level testing load at the lab throughout the year, and facilitate test completion by the end of 2013. The meeting also included discussions on improvements to existing facilities, Intertek’s plans to invest in additional building capacity, and AHRI’s testing diversification goals. Contact: Bill Tritsis.

AHRI Welcomes New Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome Imperial Manufacturing as a member of the Commercial Refrigerator Manufacturers section. Contact: Freshta Rosario.

AHRI Video Update: Vice President of Public Policy and General Counsel Dave Calabrese
On April 5, the Department of Energy announced that it will not enforce the non-weatherized gas furnace standards set to take effect on May 1, as long as the APGA-DOE settlement is pending in court. Those interested in learning more about the lawsuit and how AHRI is advocating on behalf of its members as the issue progresses can watch the most recent edition of the AHRI Video Update here, or by accessing our YouTube channel at Contact: Dave Calabrese.

Energy Secretary-nominee Ernest Moniz Testifies Before Senate Committee
On April 9, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing on President Obama’s nominee, MIT professor Dr. Ernest Moniz, to replace outgoing Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. As expected, Moniz had a relatively easy time with the committee members, despite sticking closely to White House positions on the major issues. He underscored his personal support for an “all of the above” fuel source strategy regarding renewables, nuclear energy, and fossil fuels. Moniz emphasized the importance of expanding oil and natural gas production, including hydraulic fracturing (colloquially referred to as fracking), and touted the administration’s successes on solar and wind power technology. Interestingly, opposition to his nomination is coming from environmental groups opposed to fracking, which sent a letter to committee members urging them to vote against the nominee, rather than from Republicans.

Moniz stated that the Obama administration has no plans to propose a carbon tax, even going so far as to state that it is outside the Energy Department’s scope to wrestle with fiscal issues. His focus will be on technology innovation to achieve a low-carbon economy. AHRI and AHRI members submitted questions for Moniz to committee members asking for a review of the Department’s verification process and focus on AHRI’s long established testing and certification programs. AHRI is hopeful its questions will receive careful scrutiny and prompt answering. The committee has not yet scheduled a vote on the nomination. Contact:Guido Zucconi.

ISO/Technical Committee 161 Meets in France
The International Technical Committee (TC) responsible for the development of standards for controls and protective devices for gas and/or oil burners and appliances, ISO/TC 161, met the week of March 25 in Neuilly sur Seine, France. Twenty two representatives from Japan, China, Korea, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, UK, and USA were in attendance.

The TC and its working groups made good progress on several standards under development, including oil valves, gas quick connectors, and mechanical gas thermostats. The TC also discussed potential standards and scope overlap with IEC/TC 72, Automatic Electrical Controls, which is responsible for the electrical and electronic aspects of heating controls. The discussion between the two committees on the scope issue is expected to continue until a reasonable compromise can be reached. Contact: Dave Delaquila.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE invites public commentary on the Public Review of ASHRAE Standard 185.2P,Method of Testing Ultraviolet Lamps for Use in HVAC&R Units or Air Ducts to Inactivate Micro-organisms on Irradiated Surfaces. This standard establishes a test method for measuring the intensity of ultraviolet lamps on irradiated surfaces under typical HVAC&R operating conditions. Those interested in providing comments can do so by accessing theASHRAE website before May 20. Contact: Mike Woodford.

ASHRAE Publication of New Standards
ASHRAE has announced that the standards documents listed below are now available for purchase from the ASHRAE website
  • ASHRAE Guideline 4-2008 (RA13), Preparation of Operating and Maintenance Documentation for Building Systems
  • ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 18-2008 (RA13), Methods of Testing for Rating Drinking-Water Coolers with Self-Contained Mechanical Refrigeration
  • ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 41.1-2013, Standard Method for Temperature Measurement
  • ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 86-2013, Methods of Testing the Floc Point of Refrigeration Grade Oils
  • ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 113-2013, Method of Testing for Room Air Diffusion
  • ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 137-2013, Methods of Testing for Efficiency of Space-Conditioning/Water- Heating Appliances that Include a Desuperheater Water Heater
  • 2013 Addenda Supplement Package to ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, includes addenda a, c, d, e, f, h, j, k, l, n, q, s, t, x, y, aa, ab, andac.
Contact: Michael Woodford.

Federal Trade Commission Notifies AHRI of Annual Furnace, Boiler, and Water Heater Data Reporting Deadline
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) notified AHRI that the annual data report for furnaces, boilers, and water heaters is due on May 1. The FTC notification specified, in contrast to past submissions, that AHRI should now use the Department of Energy’s Compliance Certification Management System (CCMS) to submit the manufacturer’s energy data reports. This change allows manufacturers to meet the DOE and FTC energy data reporting requirement with a single report submitted to a single location, as recently announced in the January 10, 2013, Federal Register. AHRI will submit the FTC/DOE annual reports on or before May 1, 2013, on behalf of those manufacturers who have authorized AHRI to do so. Contact: Bill Tritsis.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Crown Furniture and Electronics – Unitary Small Air Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USAC)
  • Faisal Jassim Industries – Variable Air Volume Terminals (VAV)
  • Carrier Air Conditioning & Refrigerational Sales (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. – Variable Air Volume Terminals (VAV)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

AHRI Briefs New China Standards Attache
On April 8, AHRI staff members Matt Gardner and Jim Walters met with Cathy Feig, Commercial Officer from the U.S. Department of Commerce and new Standards Attaché to China, at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. AHRI staff briefed Feig and an associate, Ryan Kane, on AHRI’s structure, mission, membership, and global activities in standards, certification, and advocacy, especially as they relate to China. The role of the Standards Attaché is to monitor commercial and governmental activities pertaining to standards and certification to identify non-tariff barriers to trade as well as commercial opportunities for U.S. exporters.. AHRI and Feig intend to have regular communication, particularly regarding topics related to certification. She assumes her post at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in June. Contact: Jim Walters.

April 4, 2013

AHRI's Annual Report Now Available
AHRI’s 2012 Annual Report is now available. The Annual Report highlights AHRI’s many achievements in 2012, including passage of H.R. 6582 and DOE’s deadline extension of its certification rule. Copies will be available at the Spring Meeting, but you can also view the online version of the Annual Report here. To request a hard copy, contactMonica Cardenas.

AHRI Welcomes New Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome Grand Hall USA as a new member in the Water Heater Product Section. Contact: Freshta Rosario.

Latest AHRI Member Roster Now Available
The April 2013 version of the AHRI Member Roster is now available in the Member Information section of the Members Only website. The roster includes a listing of all AHRI member companies; official representatives; and participants in product sections and committees. It also includes a staff directory and staff assignments for all product sections, standing and business committees, and certification programs. The roster is updated quarterly and made available for download as a PDF. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

2014 IEA Heat Pump Conference Issues Call for Abstracts
The 2014 IEA Heat Pump Conference, to be held in Montreal, from May 12-16, 2014, promotes heat pump technology and markets through discussions, networking, and information exchange. Abstracts for conference papers are now being solicited and are due by April 15, 2013. All papers will be published in the conference proceedings and presented at the conference. Authors interested in submitting abstracts may do so on the conferencewebsite, and will be notified of their acceptance by August 31, 2013. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI to Participate in China Refrigeration
AHRI will attend and exhibit at the 2013 China Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Heating, and Ventilation show, April 8-10, in Shanghai. AHRI will share booth W4E13 with ASHRAE and the China Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry Association (CRAA), and will promote AHRI’s Standards and Certification Programs. While in China, AHRI staff will meet with representatives from CRAA and Korea Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Industry Association (KRAIA), and AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek will present at the UNEP Roundtable. Contact: Francis Dietz.

AHRI Responds to DOE Response in APGA Lawsuit
In March, AHRI filed a Motion for Stay with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the APGA lawsuit to delay the compliance date for non-weatherized gas furnace standards. Since that time, the Department of Energy (DOE) and HARDI filed responses. The DOE filing supports AHRI’s motion in part, by agreeing to a six-month delay in the compliance date; however, DOE opposed AHRI’s request that the Stay be linked to the promulgation of the Enforcement Rule. AHRI replied to DOE’s filing on April 2, highlighting the support AHRI has received and addressing DOE’s arguments against linking the stay to the Enforcement Rule. HARDI’s response supports AHRI’s motion in total. The motion is now considered “fully briefed,” which will allow the Court to rule at any time. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

AHRI Submits Comments to FTC on EnergyGuide Labels
On March 28, 2013, AHRI submitted a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on final rules regarding EnergyGuide labels that were published in the Federal Register on January 10, 2013 and February 6, 2013. The letter states that:
  • AHRI believes that the AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance can help manufacturers to comply with the FTC’s latest requirement (specifically §305.6 of the January 10, 2013 final rule) to make copies of their EnergyGuide labels available online by July 15, 2013. We have requested a written response from the FTC by April 10, 2013, confirming that AHRI’s plan to make the EnergyGuide labels available on the Directory will help manufacturers enrolled in AHRI’s certification programs comply with §305.6.
  • The FTC should eliminate the requirement to provide cooling and heating capacity information on labels as this information is unnecessary and could mislead the consumer in some instances.
  • The FTC should continue to allow manufacturers the option of printing multiple basic model numbers on their EnergyGuide labels.
  • The FTC should specify compliance dates for the EnergyGuide labels on residential boilers and oil-fired furnaces that are not affected by the regional furnace standards compliance date.
Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Comments on DOE Framework Document on Residential Boiler Efficiency Standards
On March 28, 2013, AHRI submitted comments on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Framework Document for the rulemaking on efficiency standards for residential boilers. This rulemaking was initiated in February 2013. The comments noted a significant issue that AHRI believes DOE must address as soon as possible. Specifically AHRI requested that the agency inform us whether this rulemaking will consider only performance standards, i.e., revised AFUE levels, or both revised performance standards and new design requirements. The comments also noted that DOE performed an analysis of residential boiler standards for the time period 2004-2006, and that much of the technical information from that prior analysis could be used for this rulemaking. The preliminary analysis for this rulemaking is projected to be available in November 2013, with the Notice of Proposed Rule scheduled to be issued in July 2014. Contact: Frank Stanonik

Proposed Revisions for National Fuel Gas Code
The National Fuel Gas Code Committee has issued the First Revision Draft of the 2015 National Fuel Gas Code, ANSI Z223.1/NFPA 54, for public comment. This document, previously called Report on Proposals (ROP), summarizes the action taken by the Committee on each proposal that had been submitted to revise the 2012 edition of the code. An electronic copy of the First Revision Draft and the form for submitting comments on the proposals can be obtained from either the American Gas Association’s website, or the National Fire Protection Association’s website. The AGA website includes a version of the draft revised code which shows the proposed changes in strike out and underline format. Comments on this First Revision Draft must be received by May 3, 2013. AHRI staff will confer with relevant product sections to determine AHRI’s comments. Contact: Frank Stanonik.  

DOE Issues Standard Work Specifications for Single Family Energy Upgrades
On March 27, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued the final version of its Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals: Standard Work Specifications for Single Family Energy Upgrades (SWS), or Workforce Guidelines for Energy Upgrades, which had been in development since November 2010. This final document is a set of recommended work specifications applicable to energy efficiency retrofits of single family homes, and is intended as a resource for any organization, company, or individual involved in energy efficiency. In May 2012, AHRI submitted comments on the draft version of this document, asserting that it does not reflect an understanding of current residential equipment safety standards and installation codes. AHRI also noted that the guidelines are inordinately reliant on documents and criteria that are not national consensus standards, are not substantiated or otherwise grounded in thorough scientific research and analysis, and are not widely practiced in the field. Most of AHRI’s comments were rejected and this final version still contains the flaws AHRI identified in its comments. Recognizing that DOE has finalized this document, AHRI will consider how to alert those organizations, companies, or individuals who might be planning to use this document as a resource. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

OMB Issues Report on Impact of Sequester Cuts on EPA and DOE
The Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (STA) (P.L. 112-155) requires the President of the United States to submit to Congress a report on the potential sequestration triggered by the failure of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose, and Congress to enact, a plan to reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion, as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). In response, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently issued a report based on assumptions required by the STA. The report provides Congress with a breakdown of exempt and non-exempt budget accounts, an estimate of the funding reductions that would be required across non-exempt accounts, an explanation of the calculations in the report, and additional information on the potential implementation of the sequestration. 

According to the OMB report, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) sequestration cuts total $716 million, which includes a cut of 8.2 percent from the EPA’s discretionary spending budget. The sequestration cuts are across various accounts, including $220 million in EPA’s Environmental Programs and Management account. The 8.2 percent sequestration cut also applies to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and amounts to $148 million. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

EPA Publishes HCFC Allocation Rule
As reported last week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the HCFC Allocation Rule covering HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b allowances for 2012-2013. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on April 3, and can be reviewed here. Contact: Karim Amrane.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome new participants to its certification programs (program in italics):
  • Temspec, Inc. – Room Fan-Coil Air Conditioners (RFC)
  • GALPA EXPORT CORP – Unitary Small Air Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USAC) and Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
  • Perfect Aire, LLC – Unitary Small Air Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USAC) and Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
  • Wolf Steel Ltd - Unitary Small Air Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USAC) and Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
  • Trane U.S., Inc., through its Climate Solutions business unit – Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

ASHRAE Comments Due April 28
ASHRAE invites comments on the following Public Review Draft Standards. Comments are due by April 28.
  • Addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2010, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. This proposed addendum adds a requirement that design calculations shall use generally accepted engineering standards.
  • Addendum cv to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This Addendum develops baseline energy use guidance for public assembly spaces toward assessing energy performance achievement of a proposed building.
  • ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential.
    • Addendum ad: This addendum adds new language requiring a plan for the formal maintenance of roofs.
    • Addendum ae: Allows the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Suggested Control Measure for Architectural Coatings (SCM) as an alternative compliance path to SCAQMD Rule 1113 for the VOC content requirements of paints and coatings.
    • Addendum af: Removes the motor efficiencies within the standard, citing minimum motor efficiencies included in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
    • Addendum ag: Updates definitions by referencing ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
    • Addendum ah: Adds some batteries and electronics to recycling requirements.
    • Addendum m: Adds lighting quality requirements, recognizing that following good lighting practices is part of creating a high-performance building.
    • Addendum w: Provides specific bicycle parking design requirements.
Contact: Michael Woodford.

UNEP Strengthened and Upgraded by United Nations
The United Nations (UN) announced that it has taken structural and financial steps designed to strengthen and upgrade the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), established in 1972, to make it the “new voice of the environment.” Membership on UNEP’s Governing Council has been opened to all 193 members of the UN instead of the current 58 members, and the UN General Assembly has offered UNEP sustained funding from the UN’s dues budget and has asked all members to increase contributions to UNEP. 

Currently UNEP is authorized to assist in developing an environmental policy consensus with a constant review of the global environment. It is also responsible for notifying governments and the international community about emerging issues related to the environment. The changes announced by the UN will not change that mission, but appear to aim at providing a broader global platform for addressing social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainable development, and to improve UN internal coordination. Contact: Jim Walters.