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AHRI Update: February 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.


FEBRUARY 23, 2012

Washington Insiders to Speak at AHRI Public Policy Symposium
Several well-known Washington insiders will brief attendees at AHRI’s annual Public Policy Symposium, which will be held March 20-21, in Washington, D.C. AHRI members attend this meeting each year to gain a stronger understanding of important industry issues, and to establish working relationships with elected officials. This year’s event will feature, among others:
  • Stuart Rothenberg, a well-known political analyst and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report newsletter;
  • Chris Miller, the senior policy advisor on energy and environment for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); and
  • Michael Goo, associate administrator for the Office of Policy, Environmental Protection Agency.
To participate in coordinated Congressional visits, attendees must register before March 9, and choose to attend “Lobby Day” when registering. Contact: Jennifer Silvi. 

Support the Rees Scholarship Foundation
The Clifford H. "Ted" Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation was established to assist with the recruitment and competency of future HVACR and water heating technicians by awarding scholarships to qualified students enrolled in an institutionally accredited school. This year, the Foundation has raised $30,000 from 26 donors. Support the future of the industry with a donation today. Your contribution will go a long way toward training future technicians and installers in the HVACR industry. Visit www.reesscholarship.org. Contact: Marc Neufcourt.

Clinton Announces New Coalition to Reduce Pollutants
On February 16, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants initiative, which focuses on three identified “pollutants” – black carbon (soot), methane, and HFCs.  The initiative is being sponsored by the U.S., Canada, Bangladesh, Sweden, and Ghana.  The aim of the coalition is to help countries develop national action plans, provide technical support, build capacity among developing countries, mobilize public and private funds for action, raise awareness globally, foster regional and international cooperation, and improve scientific understanding of the impacts and mitigation of these gases. The initiative will involve “public awareness” campaigns, the sharing of technical data, and general collaboration between these countries and others.

AHRI participated in the briefing and will be working closely with the Department of State and the EPA to ensure our industry has a voice as this initiative is implemented.  It is still uncertain as to how this initiative will affect U.S. and global efforts to phase down the production of high GWP HFCs. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

DOE Amends Test Procedures for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment
On February 21, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule amending the federal test procedures for commercial refrigeration equipment. The final rule adopts AHRI Standard 1200-2010 and incorporates methods to evaluate the energy impacts resulting from the use of night curtains and lighting occupancy sensors and controls. The test procedure also was amended to allow testing of certain commercial refrigeration equipment at the lowest temperature at which it is able to be operated, referred to as its lowest application product temperature. Finally, in an effort to minimize the testing burden on manufacturers, DOE is incorporating provisions to allow manufacturers to test at the rating temperatures and ambient conditions required by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International. Contact: Karim Amrane.

Energy Efficiency Summit Brings Together Environmental Advocates
AHRI and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) hosted an Energy Efficiency Summit last week in Washington, D.C., at which representatives from AHRI member companies met with counterparts in the environmental community. In addition to more than 20 HVACR and water heating companies, representatives from ACEEE, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Green Building Council, the National Institute of Building Sciences, the National Association of State Energy Officials, various utilities, the Alliance to Save Energy, ICC, ACCA, and HARDI were in attendance.

Topics of discussion included commercial and residential whole-building performance incentives, Energy Star, and building codes. This and previous such events have allowed AHRI and the energy efficiency advocates to overcome many differences and find common ground on issues related to environmental stewardship. AHRI plans to continue working with its partners at ACEEE and other environmental advocates to promote common interests in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Contact: Jennifer Silvi.

California Energy Commission to Conduct Workshop on Certification Acceptance Testing
The California Energy Commission (CEC) will conduct a workshop to receive public comments on proposals submitted by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the California Local Union of Sheet Metal Workers.  These two organizations are proposing that only contractors who are trained and certified by specific certification programs that they sponsor should be allowed to perform the “acceptance testing” that is required of specific equipment by the Building Energy Efficiency Standards, Title 24.  The workshop will be held at the CEC headquarters in Sacramento, California on February 27, 2012.  For more information, consult the CEC website.  Contact: Karim Amrane.

Extended Warranty Bill Dies in Washington State
Washington State bill S. 6039 will not move forward this legislative session. The bill would have effectively mandated that all manufacturers that provide extended warranties for various products including water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, and humidifiers provide the consumer with a written statement of:

a) The estimated life expectancy of the product
b) The estimated repair and maintenance costs of the product

Although the bill would affect multiple industries, other industry associations opted to wait until the bill reached the committee hearing stage before taking action. AHRI took a proactive role in reaching out to the bill’s main sponsor, Senator Christine Rolfes, to explain our concerns with the bill. By so doing, we were able to prevent the bill from moving forward by the February 3 deadline, effectively killing it for this session. Contact: Phillip Wallace.

Members Needed on ASHRAE 90.2 Committee
A call for members has been announced for the ASHRAE SSPC 90.2 Committee, which is responsible for updating ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2-2007, Energy Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This standard provides the minimum design and construction requirements for new residential buildings and their systems and new portions of existing residential buildings and their systems that use electricity and/or fossil fuel.  ASHRAE intends to change the code to be similar to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 189.1 to be a stretch code for residential buildings. Those interested in serving on this ASHRAE committee are asked to indicate their interest and obtain the necessary membership forms by clicking here, or by contacting Stephanie Reiniche at Standards.Section@ashrae.org. Contact: Mike Woodford.



FEBRUARY 16, 2012

Public Policy Symposium to Feature Stuart Rothenberg
AHRI’s annual Public Policy Symposium will be held March 20-21 in Washington, D.C. AHRI members attend this meeting each year to gain a stronger understanding of important industry issues, and to establish working relationships with elected officials. This year’s event will feature a keynote address by Stuart Rothenberg, a well-known political analyst and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report newsletter. In addition, attendees will participate in coordinated Congressional visits following briefings from Administration, Congressional, and industry experts on issues most affecting their businesses. Contact: Jenn Silvi. 

AHRI Opposes DOE Proposed Coverage of Residential Condensing Units
AHRI submitted comments February 10 in response to a Department of Energy (DOE) notice proposing to classify the condensing units of residential central air conditioner split system and the outdoor units of residential heat pump split systems as covered products subject to federal energy conservation standards under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). AHRI’s comments stressed that residential condensing units and outdoor units are and have always been products covered by EPCA that must, as part of a system, comply with federal minimum energy efficiency standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. AHRI believes that the imposition of separate efficiency requirements on condensing units and outdoor units would constitute unwarranted and unlawful double regulation of central air conditioners and heat pumps and would increase the regulatory burden on manufacturers contrary to President Obama’s January 18, 2011, Executive Order to reduce regulatory burden. AHRI urged DOE to withdraw its proposed determination to treat condensing units and outdoor units as new or separate EPCA-covered products. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI to Host Organizational Meeting for New Datacom Cooling Product Section
AHRI will host an organizational meeting for its new Datacom Cooling product section and certification program on March 12, 10am-3pm, at its headquarters in Arlington, Va. Manufacturers interested in joining the section are invited to attend. Discussion topics will include plans for the section and certification program, and existing standards and method of testing for these products. Ron Spangler of Emerson/Liebert Precision Cooling will serve as acting chairman. If you would like to attend, please contact Charissa Garcia.

Training Session Held on AHRI Standards Structure and Formatting
AHRI conducted a training session February 13 on AHRI’s standards structure and formatting.  Participating were members of the Cooling Standards Subcommittee (CSS) and AHRI staff. The subcommittee also reviewed recent refinements to the AHRI standards development process, as they agreed in January that one of its members be designated as the liaison to each AHRI standard and guideline when the document is submitted to the CSS for approval. The member will work with the AHRI staff standards executive assistant (EA) and the engineering committee (EC) chairman to identify any issues.

This CSS member engagement is expected to identify and rectify any problems early in the process, and to help make corrections prior to CSS meetings. AHRI is also planning a series of enhanced and more regular training of AHRI staff, standards EAs, and AHRI Engineering Committee (EC) members on standards development procedures, including structure and format requirements described in the AHRI Standards Policy and Procedures document, Appendix A, Format and Content Requirements for AHRI Standards and Guidelines. Contact: Mike Woodford.

Certification Invoices Delivered Last Week
AHRI Certification program participants are advised that certification invoices for 2012 were sent last week. First quarter payments are due by March 31. Contact: Cheron Scott.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Powrmatic of Canada Limited – Unitary Small Air-Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) and Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.



FEBRUARY 9, 2012

Public Policy Symposium to Feature Stuart Rothenberg
AHRI’s annual Public Policy Symposium will be held March 20-21 in Washington, D.C. AHRI members attend this meeting each year to gain a stronger understanding of important industry issues, and to establish working relationships with elected officials. This year’s event will feature a keynote address by Stuart Rothenberg, a well-known political analyst and publisher of The Rothenberg Political Report newsletter. In addition, attendees will participate in coordinated Congressional visits following briefings from Administration, Congressional, and industry experts on issues most affecting their businesses. Contact: Jenn Silvi


AHRI Begins Phase Two of Low GWP Refrigerant Research Project
AHRI began the second phase of its research project, Low Global Warming Potential (GWP) Refrigerants, awarding the research contract to Navigant Consulting.  Phase two, 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, will summarize the configurations of air conditioning and heat pump systems using low GWP refrigerants that can meet the safety requirements of regulations, codes, and standards. It will also explore the feasible design options that allow the safe use of low GWP refrigerants. Phase one of the study reviewed regulations and standards in the U.S., Europe, and Japan relevant to HVACR applications using low-GWP refrigerants. The project is expected to be completed within six months. Contact: Xudong Wang

AHRI Receives ASHRAE Platinum Circle Investors Award
AHRI received the ASHRAE Platinum Circle Investor Award on January 23, 2012, during the ASHRAE Winter Conference in Chicago. This award is presented to contributors who have provided significant financial leadership to ASHRAE at a level of $20,000 or higher. Contact: Karim Amrane. 

Rees Scholarship Foundation Launches New Website
The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship Foundation, established to assist with the recruitment and competency of future HVACR and water heating technicians, recently launched a new website to assist with increasing fundraising and awareness of the scholarship program. The new website, www.reesscholarship.org, features an online donation tool, detailed information about the foundation, and information on accredited educational institutions. The Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Charitable Organization. Please send any feedback or recommendations on the new website to Marc Neufcourt.

AHRI Participates in Montreal Protocol Briefing
On February 6, AHRI participated in a Department of State and Environmental Protection Agency briefing to update stakeholders on the next steps in the Montreal Protocol negotiations. The focus of the meeting was on the North American proposal to phase-down the production of high GWP HFCs and a report of the United Nation’s Environment Programme that highlights the importance of HFCs in the climate debate.  EPA and Department of State staff led a discussion in which stakeholders from the industry, academia, and environmental advocacy groups provided input on next steps. Participants expressed general support for the North American proposal to phase-down the production of high GWP HFC refrigerants, and urged the government to continue efforts to advocate for this proposal.  It was noted that support for the proposal has grown over the several years that it has been considered, but that representatives from developing countries – including India, China, and Brazil – continue to oppose the phase-down of HFCs. These consultations are in preparation for the upcoming Montreal Protocol meetings in Bangkok, Thailand, in July, and Geneva, Switzerland, in November. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

AHRI Comments on FTC’s Energy Labels for Home Heating and Cooling Equipment
In response to the publication of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) direct final rule establishing regional minimum energy conservation standards for residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in November 2011, seeking input from stakeholders on new labeling requirements and other disclosures needed to help consumers and installers determine if a product conforms with the regional standards. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) directs the FTC to determine the appropriate method(s) for disclosing information to consumers, distributors, and installers  and authorizes the Commission to modify the EnergyGuide label or develop other disclosures. EPCA also calls on the FTC to complete a rulemaking within 15 months from the publication of the final rule establishing regional standards. The FTC sought general comments on the label content, its location and format, whether separate disclosures should be developed, and if these new disclosures will benefit consumers. In its comments, AHRI stressed that the objectives of the FTC and DOE could be met through revisions to the existing EnergyGuide labels alone, and that no additional reporting requirements should be imposed on manufacturers. In addition, AHRI recommended that the FTC allow the AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance to be one of the approved methods for disclosing information associated with the new regional standards for residential furnaces and central air conditioners and heat pumps.  AHRI’s comments can be accessed here. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Comments on DOE Framework for Enforcement of Regional Efficiency Standards
On February 6, 2012, AHRI submitted comments responding to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Notice of Data Availability on the framework for developing regulations covering the enforcement of regional energy conservation standards for residential furnaces, central air conditioners, and heat pumps.  AHRI’s comments urged DOE to keep the enforcement regulations as simple as possible, and to rely on a combination of existing resources to formulate an effective enforcement program that minimizes the burden to the manufacturers, distributors, and contractors. Such resources included: the AHRI certification directory; industry and DOE educational efforts; and appropriate AHRI-recommended changes to the FTC EnergyGuide labels (see above story). AHRI also expressed its opposition to a proposed waiver concept that would provide a process to allow the installation of non-complying residential furnaces in the North region under certain conditions. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Lauds DOE ENERGY STAR Report for Water Heaters
AHRI announced February 7 that the DOE’s report on verification testing of appliances and tankless and storage water heaters pointed to the need for the Department to reevaluate its testing focus. The test results, released under the ENERGY STAR® program, showed that all tests of the claimed efficiency levels for storage and tankless water heaters showed that the products’ efficiency ratings were accurate and no further action was needed.  This demonstrates that AHRI certification participants’ products are being properly rated and should not be the focus of enhanced federal scrutiny. Contact: Francis Dietz. 

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Mirage Appliances, Inc. – Unitary Small Air-Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) and Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils)
  • Klimaire Products – Residential Furnaces
  • Maico Gulf LLC – Room Fan-Coil Air Conditioners
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

Comments Invited on Addendum to ASHRAE Standard 15-2010
Comments are invited by March 19 on the first public review draft of BSR/ASHRAE Addendum g to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2010, Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems. This addendum modifies and clarifies the requirements for discharge of pressure relief devices, including where refrigerant may be safely discharged in the event of a release. Review drafts can be accessed here. To obtain a paper copy of any Public Review Draft contact: ASHRAE, Inc. Attn: Standards Public Review, 1791 Tullie Circle, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329-2305 or email: standards.section@ashrae.org. Contact: Mike Woodford.

Members Needed for Seismic Restraint Devices Committee
A Call for Members has been announced for an ASHRAE committee to revise ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 171-2008R, Method of Test of Seismic Restraint Devices for HVAC&R Equipment. The purpose of this standard is to provide static-test procedures for determining the capacity of seismic restraints for heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment. These test procedures determine the maximum force a restraint can withstand without breakage or permanent deformation.  If you are interested in serving on this ASHRAE committee, click here, or contact Stephanie Reiniche at: ASHRAE, 1791 Tullie Circle, N.E., Atlanta, GA 30329-2305; phone: 678-539-1143; fax: 678-539-2143; email: standards.section@ashrae.org. Contact: Mike Woodford.

Mexico Issues Draft Safety Standard
The Mexican Secretariat of Energy has issued a draft standard for gas water heaters (NOM-011-SESH-2011). The standard covers storage and instantaneous type water heaters with a thermal load no greater than 108,0 kW (368,500 Btu/h).

Below is an unofficial translation of the scope of the standard:
“This Official Mexican Standard has been developed to establish the minimum safety technical specifications; the testing methods that must be carried out to guarantee that such specifications are being fulfilled; the labeling and commercial information for the storage type water heaters, high recovery heaters and instantaneous gas fired heaters fueled by L.P. or natural gas; and for the heaters to only provide hot water during the liquid phase, with a thermal load no greater than 108,0 kW. Moreover, this standard establishes the procedure for the corresponding compliance evaluation.”
Aspects of the transition to referencing this new standard are:
  • This Mexican Official Standard will enter in force in the following 90 natural days after its publication date on the Official Gazette of the Federation.
  • This NOM Standard will not be applicable to residential and/ or commercial water heaters that use L.P.G. or natural gas fuel, built before the present Standard came into force. Therefore, those heaters can be sold without any additional requirements until their inventory is depleted.
  • Once the present Standard enters in force, the Mexican Official Standards NOM-020-SEDG-2003, water heaters fueled by LP and natural gas, for domestic and commercial use, safety requirements, testing methods and labeling, published in the Official Gazette of the Federation on December 22, 2003, will be substituted and cancelled.
  • The compliance certification in force regarding the Mexican Official Standards NOM-020-SEDG-2003, water heaters fueled by LP and natural gas, for domestic and commercial use, safety requirements, testing methods and labeling, which were granted before the present Standard came into force, will remain in force until their term concludes. However, the validity of such certificates will not exceed the date specified in the procedures to evaluate NOM’s conformity.
Contact: Marc Neufcourt or Shelley Pursell.

AHRI Staff Visits Members in Brussels
AHRI Manager of International Affairs Shelley Pursell recently participated in the AHRI and the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) Professional Development Exchange Program, visiting  Brussels, Belgium and working with her counterparts in the Grayling Consultancy (serving EPEE). In Brussels, Pursell met with many of AHRI’s other global partners, including the European Heating Industries (EHI), Eurovent and Eurovent Certification, and the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA). She also met with senior staff of the U.S. Commercial Service Mission to the European Union. Pursell also attended the EPEE January Meetings, as well as a European Parliament Industry, Trade, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee Hearing that included a discussion about the Energy Efficiency Directive.

While Pursell was in Brussels, she visited the European offices and facilities in Ostend, Belgium (pictured above) of AHRI Member Daikin Industries. The topics of discussion included technology trends in Europe, the legislative and regulatory developments in the EU, and how the European crisis is impacting the industry. Contact: Shelley Pursell.

AHRI and REHVA Create Closer Ties
AHRI recently became a supporter of REHVA, the Federation of European Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning Associations, creating closer ties with this leading professional organization in Europe dedicated to the improvement of health, comfort, and energy efficiency in all buildings and communities. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, REHVA, has 27 member associations representing 110,000 members (building professionals, engineers, specifiers, etc.) in Europe, stretching from Lisbon in the west to Moscow in the East. The federation encourages the development and application of both energy conservation and renewable energy sources. In these areas, REHVA has a significant impact on national and international strategic planning and research initiatives, as well as on associated educational and training programs.

This decision to become a supporter followed a meeting of AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek and other AHRI staff, REHVA President Michael Schmidt, REHVA Director General Olli Seppänen, and several members of his Board of Directors, in Chicago on January 22, 2012. During the meeting, the group reviewed both organizations’ programs and goals, which they agreed were complementary.  As a supporter of REHVA, AHRI will benefit from a closer relationship with the association’s management and members and be entitled to various services, including but not limited to:
  • Regular information on EU directives, regulations, and standards;
  • The REHVA Bulletin focusing on new EU policy and regulations; and
  • Various REHVA events and guidebooks and free use of the REHVA HVAC Dictionary.
REHVA’s 2012 Annual Conference and Meeting will be held in Timisoara, Romania, April 17-20, 2012. Contact: Jim Walters.

AHRI and ASTM International Meet on Global Issues
AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek and other AHRI staff met with ASTM International CEO Jim Thomas at AHRI headquarters on February 7, 2012, where they discussed their organizations’ global standards and certification goals and programs. Both agreed that these activities are carried out to ensure that the world-class standards and certification programs built and operated by their respective members should be available for use anywhere in the globe and not be excluded by non-tariff barriers and rules.  They also discussed standards developments in Europe and Mexico and legislative approaches to sharpening the U.S. promotion of U.S.-produced international standards. Contact: Jim Walters.



FEBRUARY 2, 2012

Record Attendance Reported at AHR Expo
The AHR Expo was held last week in Chicago, Ill., and boasted record attendance. More than 57,000 people visited 430,000 square feet of exhibit space at McCormick Place. Attendees reported that the show provided valuable information both on the exhibit floor and in the many education sessions, one of which highlighted AHRI’s latest certification program, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Multi-Split Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment. Three VRF manufacturers, including Chris Bellshaw of Daikin AC (Americas), Paul Doppel of Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating, and Malcolm Persaud of Panasonic Corporation of North America, presented on the history and development of VRF products, and AHRI’s standard and certification program. Contact: Francis Dietz.

Federal District Court Upholds Federal Preemption
After three and a half years of litigation, a federal district court in New Mexico upheld federal preemption against the City of Albuquerque. On January 25, 2012, Judge Martha Vazquez of the Federal District Court for the District of New Mexico issued an opinion and order finding that the provisions of the 2007 Albuquerque Energy Conservation Code relating to the energy efficiency of federally covered residential and commercial HVAC equipment and water heaters are preempted by federal law, specifically the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). View a copy of Judge Vazquez’s opinion and order here.

In her latest opinion, Judge Vazquez confirmed her September 10, 2010, rulings (1) that the prescriptive energy efficiency standards in the 2007 Albuquerque code that are more stringent than federal minimum efficiency standards are preempted and cannot be saved from federal preemption by the availability of alternative code compliance paths; and (2) that a particular performance-based code compliance option is preempted because it is based on a standard reference design that uses efficiency levels that exceed federal efficiency standards. Responding to a summary judgment motion filed by the City that essentially asked Judge Vazquez to reconsider her earlier rulings, she declined to do so and denied the City’s motion.

This issue would be resolved if Congress would adopt the changes to the building code provisions of EPCA that AHRI and the energy efficiency groups have proposed as part of their consensus agreement but need Congressional enactment.  These provisions are part of the INCAA legislation along with provisions to require the Department of Energy to update its water heater test procedure, and set new federal minimum efficiency standards for small duct/high velocity air conditioners and service-over-the-counter commercial refrigerators. Contact: Joe Mattingly.

New AHRI Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome new member company Patterson Pump Company, of Toccoa, Ga., which is participating in the Hydronics Institute and Fluid Pumps sections. Contact: Emma Keiswetter.

DOE Publishes Draft Guidance on Walk-in Coolers and Freezers
On January 20, 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a draft guidance clarifying certain provisions of its existing regulation on walk-in coolers and freezers.  In the guidance, DOE proposes to clarify that all components covered under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA); manufactured on or after January 1, 2009; and used in walk-in coolers and freezer applications, must comply with the relevant EISA requirements. This includes components that are assembled to make a newly manufactured walk-in, and components that go into an existing, previously installed walk-in to replace a component. DOE is proposing not to apply the guidance retroactively to components made prior to the issuance of the guidance.  A copy of the draft guidance can be downloaded here.  DOE will accept comments until February 20, 2012.  Contact: Karim Amrane.

DOE Publishes Preliminary Analysis on Commercial Ice Makers
On January 24, 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of a preliminary technical support document containing the analysis it has conducted so far as part of the rulemaking on minimum energy conservation standards for commercial ice makers. The notice also announces that DOE will hold a public meeting on February 16 to discuss and receive comments on the equipment classes it plans to analyze; the analytical framework, models, and tools that DOE is using to evaluate minimum standards; the results of preliminary analyses performed by DOE; and the potential energy conservation standard levels derived from these analyses.  A copy of the technical support document will be posted on the DOE website in the coming days. AHRI will submit comments before the March 9 deadline.  Contact: Karim Amrane.

Industry-specific Federal Rulemaking Schedule Available Online
AHRI’s policy department closely monitors federal rulemakings that may impact test procedures, standards revisions, and enforcement provisions. View the expected rulemaking schedule for the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency on AHRI’s website. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

New Certification Program Operations Manuals Now Available Online
Following the approval of the Certification Program & Policies (CP&P) Committee in December, all product-specific Operations Manuals (OMs) for all certification programs are now available online. The OMs were approved by the members of the relevant product sections at AHRI’s Annual Meeting in November, which were revised to comply with the new requirements outlined in the certification white paper. The OMs are available on AHRI’s website, under each individual program page. Contact: Bill Tritsis.

ASHRAE SSPC 90.1 Activities
The ASHRAE Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC) 90.1 continues to work towards its goal of developing a 2013 edition that will save 50 percent more energy than the 2004 edition of 90.1. At its January 21-23, 2012, meeting, the committee adopted for public review several addenda, including one to add minimum efficiency requirements for commercial refrigeration equipment; one to add AHRI’s proposed system design requirement for boiler heating systems with design system input of 1,000,000 Btu/h or more; and one to add requirements that humidifiers with preheating jackets mounted in the airstream automatically shut off preheat when humidification is not required and that preheat coils have controls to stop the heat output whenever mechanical cooling, including economizer, is occurring.  SSPC 90.1 also continued to work on responses to the comments that were submitted on the Advisory Public Review (APR) document that proposed to add minimum Fan Efficiency Grade (FEG) requirements to standard 90.1. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

Memorandum Issued to U.S. Government Leadership on Federal Engagement in Standards Activities
A memorandum clarifying principles for federal engagement in standards activities to address national priorities has been released by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).  Issued to the leadership of U.S. federal executive departments and agencies, the memorandum describes the approach decided upon by the federal government to implement the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) recommendations outlined in the October 2011 report, Federal Engagement in Standards Activities to Address National Priorities.
 
The NSTC’s October 2011 Federal Engagement in Standards Activities report was informed by responses submitted to a Request for Information (RFI). In total, the RFI received responses from more than 90 companies, trade associations (including AHRI), standards development organizations, and others. Contact: Mike Woodford.

AHRI Strengthens Global Relationships
As part of AHRI’s ongoing efforts toward broad-based cooperation with its partners across the globe, AHRI staff use the recent AHR Expo in Chicago to meet with many of its global partners. In addition to an ICARHMA working group meeting, AHRI hosted a global partners reception and dinner. More than 10 countries were represented at the event, allowing many industry representatives to meet face-to-face and build stronger relationships.

AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek highlighted the group’s common goals and the importance of working together to address them. The event provided an enjoyable conclusion to a series of bilateral meetings, during which AHRI met with associations from China, Korea, Europe, and Canada, to discuss global certification and refrigerant choice, among other items. Contact: Jim Walters.