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AHRI Update: February 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.


February 28, 2013

AHRI Hosts UL Senior Staff in Arlington
AHRI staff, including President and CEO Stephen Yurek, held a meeting February 25-26 with senior executives from UL at AHRI Headquarters in Arlington, Va. During the meeting, representatives revisited topics from an October 2012 meeting in Chicago that explored ways in which AHRI and UL can work more closely on topics of common interest. Topics of discussion included standards, certification, regulations, testing, IT, and research initiatives. UL recently won several AHRI certification testing contracts and plans to respond to AHRI’s Request for Proposals, which was issued in late 2012 to all interested laboratories. Both teams have agreed to continue such discussions on a semi-annual basis. Contact: Henry Hwong.

Register Today for the AHRI Public Policy Symposium
Time is running out to register for the AHRI Public Policy Symposium, to be held March 20-21 at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. During this important grassroots advocacy event for AHRI members, attendees will learn about the most important issues facing our industry and build relationships with lawmakers and their industry colleagues in face-to-face meetings.

In addition to these opportunities, attendees can look forward to keynote addresses from S.E. Cupp and Krystal Ball, hosts of the MSNBC program The Cycle; to a private cocktail event on the rooftop terrace of the Hay-Adams Hotel, overlooking the White House; and to hearing directly from Representatives and Senators about what we might expect in the new Congress and how our industry might be affected. Register soon, as registration closes March 8. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

AHRI to Exhibit at ACREX
AHRI looks forward to exhibiting at ACREX India 2013, to be held March 7-9 in Mumbai, India. The theme of the show is “Dedicated to an eco-friendly environment.” AHRI will utilize this opportunity to educate the international community about the importance of specifying AHRI Certified® products and equipment. AHRI members exhibiting at the show are encouraged to stop by booth I-1, near registration. Contact: Umair Surani.

AHRI Publishes 2012 HVACR & Water Heating Industry Statistical Profile
AHRI recently published the 2012 edition of the AHRI HVACR & Water Heating Industry Statistical Profile. The document includes more than 20 years of public data related to:
  • Total U.S. industry employment
  • Wages and value added per employee
  • Number of American manufacturing establishments
  • New single-family home construction in the U.S.
The profile also contains aggregated data from AHRI’s monthly statistical releases. It is available to members free of charge by logging in to the AHRI members only site, or by and clicking here. The publication is available for non-members to purchase in electronic format for $99 here. Contact: Sean Lynch.

Congratulations to Shannon and Thad Michael
Congratulations to Shannon and Thad Michael for their (and AHRI’s) new family addition. Shannon, AHRI’s Senior Director of Statistics, gave birth to a healthy and precious baby boy named Cole James Michael on February 19. Mother and baby are doing well, and we extend our best wishes to them. 

Frank Stanonik Celebrates 35 Years at AHRI
Frank Stanonik, AHRI’s Chief Technical Advisor, celebrated his 35th anniversary with AHRI last week. Congratulations to Frank, and thank you for many years of dedicated service. 

2014 IEA Heat Pump Conference Issues Call for Abstracts
The 2014 IEA Heat Pump Conference, held in Montreal, Canada, 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.

DOE Announces Proposed Waiver Process for Thermal Storage Residential Electric Water Heaters
The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR)February 26 to establish a waiver process that would allow the manufacture and sale of larger volume residential electric storage water heaters (i.e. volume larger than 55 gallons) after April 16, 2015, for use in electric utility load shifting or demand response programs (identified as electric thermal storage programs, or ETS). These utility programs reduce peak demand by using water heaters that are controlled to heat water only during off-peak periods and typically use electric storage water heaters with volumes larger than 55 gallons in order to store enough heated water to meet the total daily demand of the residence. Last year, many of the utilities that operate these off-peak water heating programs expressed concern to DOE that the amended minimum efficiency standard for residential electric storage water heaters bans the manufacture of large volume electric resistance storage water heaters. This NOPR reflects DOE’s consideration of the information that it received in response to its June 2012 Request for Information regarding the utilities’ concern.

In this NOPR, DOE is proposing that a manufacturer and/or utility must submit a waiver request to DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. DOE proposes that if the waiver were granted, it would only be effective for one year. Furthermore, water heaters covered by the waiver must be labeled for use exclusively in ETS programs, and the ETS control device must be installed on the water heater or packaged with the water heater when it leaves the factory. DOE will hold a public meeting to discuss the NOPR on Friday, March 15, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C. Information on attending via webinar is provided in the notice. AHRI is working with the Water Heater Product Section to prepare comments, which are due April 29. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

DOE Publishes Framework Document on Packaged Terminal Equipment
On February 22, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice in the Federal Registerannouncing that it is initiating a rulemaking and data collection process to consider amending energy conservation standards for packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps. According the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), DOE is required to consider amending the standards for any covered commercial equipment for which more than six years has elapsed since the issuance of the most recent final rule establishing or amending a standard for the product. Given that the minimum federal standards for packaged terminal equipment were last amended on October 7, 2008, DOE is obligated to publish, no later than October 7, 2014, either a notice of determination that standards for these products do not need to be amended, or a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing amended energy efficiency standards.

As part of the rulemaking process, DOE published a framework document that details the analytical approach and identifies several issues on which DOE is particularly interested in receiving comments. In addition, DOE is planning a stakeholder meeting on Monday, March 18, 2013, (please note the new date) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Washington, D.C., to receive input from stakeholders. DOE will accept comments on the framework document until March 25, 2013. AHRI is working with members of the Packaged Terminal Equipment Subsection to develop an industry position. Contact: Karim Amrane

Senators Plan to Reintroduce Efficiency Bill
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are preparing to reintroduce energy efficiency legislation based on last Congress’s S. 1000, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011, which sought to boost energy efficiency in federal buildings and the private sector. Senator Shaheen has said the reintroduced bill will include voluntary building efficiency standards, require efficiency boosts and deployment of smart meters in federal buildings, and provide assistance for manufacturers aiming to become more efficient. Furthermore, she is reaching out to House members to find sponsors for a companion bill, but did not identify any specific members. The Senators are discussing alternative options to finance efficiency upgrades after House Republicans opposed a loan guarantee program last year. This seems to be the biggest hurdle to introduction of the new bill. AHRI is working with the staff from both Senate offices as the bill moves forward. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

Hawaii Recycling Bill Amended
AHRI submitted testimony to the Hawaii legislature on S.B. 1135 and its companion bill, H.B. 904, legislation to amend Hawaii’s existing electronic waste and television recycling and recovery act. AHRI commented that it would oppose the bill unless it was amended to clearly exclude HVACR equipment. The Senate Ways and Means Committee recently voted S.B. 1135 out of committee with amendments that clearly exclude HVACR equipment. The House bill died in accordance with state legislative procedures, as the bill was referred to a third committee which did not address it in time. AHRI will continue to work within its coalition of stakeholders as S.B. 1135 moves forward, to ensure our exemptions remain intact. Contact:Cade Clark.

AHRI Seismic Standard Overview Presentation Available
AHRI staff has prepared a presentation that provides an overview of AHRI’s seismic qualification standard, ANSI/AHRI 1270 (I-P) – 2011 and ANSI/AHRI 1271 (SI),Requirements for Seismic Qualification of HVACR Equipment, and guidelines for its application. This presentation is available to download electronically by logging on to the AHRI members only site and clicking here. Contact: Danny Abbate.

New Certification Participant
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participant to its certification program (program in italics):

•    Climaflex SA de CV – Water Chilling Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle (Air-Cooled) (ACCL) 

Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.


February 21, 2013

HARDI Responds to Opposition in APGA Lawsuit
On Tuesday, February 19, HARDI filed a reply to the Department of Energy (DOE), energy advocates, and AHRI pleadings that opposed HARDI’s motion to (1) substitute as a petitioner in the APGA lawsuit, (2) vacate the furnace standards in the Direct Final Rule, and then (3) challenge the A/C standards in the rule. HARDI reaffirmed its request for substitution and vacatur, but only briefly addressed AHRI’s concerns regarding the “uncertainty” that is created as a result of their action, and the damage to manufacturers if the Court should grant their motion. 

Instead, their filing focuses on two procedural issues. First, HARDI disputes the government’s argument that HARDI does not have the legal ability to become the Petitioner because it did not file its own petition for review of the standards, and it can only engage on issues raised by the Petitioner (APGA) which did not include the air conditioner standards. DOE had argued that HARDI could not replace APGA as Petitioner, because the deadline to file a petition has passed (i.e. 60 days after the publication of the Direct Final Rule). HARDI is asserting that the law doesn’t preclude it from becoming a Petitioner even though the deadline has passed. Secondly, HARDI argues that it can challenge the Direct Final Rule’s A/C standards because APGA implicitly did so in its initial challenge of the entire Direct Final Rule, and not just the furnace standards. Therefore, HARDI argues that it is not raising any new issues that were not raised in the initial petition before the court. 

It is uncertain as to when the court will make a decision on this motion. Therefore, AHRI is evaluating options to request a delay in the May 1, 2013, effective date of the furnace standards. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

Register Today for the AHRI Public Policy Symposium
Those planning to attend the AHRI Public Policy Symposium should make hotel reservations soon, as AHRI’s room block expires this Friday, February 22, and the meeting dovetails with the beginning of the Washington Cherry Blossom Festival. This important grassroots advocacy event for AHRI members will be held March 20-21, at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. Attendees will learn about the most important issues facing our industry and build relationships with lawmakers and their industry colleagues in face-to-face meetings. Click here to register and make hotel reservations.

In addition to these opportunities, attendees can look forward to keynote addresses from S.E. Cupp and Krystal Ball, hosts of the MSNBC program The Cycle; to a private cocktail event on the rooftop terrace of the Hay-Adams Hotel, overlooking the White House; and to hearing directly from Representatives and Senators about what we might expect in the new Congress and how our industry might be affected. Event registration closes March 8. Click here to register. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

Commodity Classification Standards Board Issues Commodity Shipping Survey
On February 7, AHRI received a letter from the Commodity Classification Standards Board (CSSB) inviting AHRI members to participate in a confidential survey of manufacturers or shippers of certain products, including:
  • Air coolers/conditioners;
  • Heat pumps;
  • Air handlers; and
  • Refrigeration evaporators or condensers.
The survey is intended to gather insight to make changes to the National Motor Freight Classification standard used by the trucking industry. The survey can be accessed here, and may be submitted via e-mail. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

AHRI Launches LinkedIn Issues Forum
AHRI recently launched the AHRI Issues Forum on LinkedIn to allow professionals in the HVACR and water heating industry to discuss issues of importance to them. AHRI will periodically submit discussion topics, and invites participation and follow up questions to create discussion among industry leaders. Contact: Sean Lynch.

AHRI Exhibits at Orlando Pool & Spa Show
AHRI exhibited at the Orlando Pool & Spa Show February 15-16, in Orlando, Florida. The annual event attracted attendees from across the United States and the Caribbean, and provided AHRI staff with the opportunity to educate industry professionals about AHRI’s certification programs and the value added by members’ participation. Contact: Maryline Rassi

AHRI Systems Working Group Meets in Arlington
The AHRI Systems Working Group held its first face-to-face meeting at AHRI offices on February 14-15. The working group was formed in 2012 at the request of the AHRI Board of Directors for the purpose of characterizing HVAC systems and enabling energy savings at the system level. The working group is comprised of technical experts representing various sections of the industry. During the meeting, members discussed several topics and considered a number of projects, such as: 
  • Development of part-load and/or system efficiency metrics;
  • Formation of new AHRI sections or committees; and
  • Formulation of research projects.
The working group intends to define long term goals and projects prior to its next meeting on March 18. Contact: Jon Lemmond.

AHRI Monitors Canadian Harmonic Current Standard
An AHRI ad-hoc committee has been monitoring and contributing to IEEE Standard 1836P,Standard for Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) - Limits for Harmonic Current Emissions Produced by Equipment Connected to Public Low-Voltage Systems with Input Current <= 16 A Per Phase. The purpose of the standard is to identify and limit sources of harmonic currents from consumer equipment, including HVAC products connected to the public electricity grid. Linearly loaded products and those meeting the requirements of IEC Standards 61000-3-2, 61000-3-12, or adopted versions of these standards, will be exempted. Publication is likely within a year, and covered products sold in Canada will eventually be required to meet the standard.

A third-party to the IEEE project committee is currently drafting the equations for calculating the harmonic limits of each covered product. AHRI will discuss the issue with affected engineering committees in a series of meetings in late February and early March. Contact:Jon Lemmond.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE invites public commentary on the following Public Review Draft Standards and Addenda. Those interested in providing comments can do so by accessing the ASHRAEwebsite before March 17. 

Addendum ay to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The modification corrects a couple of small editorial issues and raises the threshold for when daylight responsive controls are required so that they are cost effective in all climate zones.

Addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2008, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. This proposed addendum adds filtration requirements, in Table 6-1, for in-patient hospice and assisted living facilities. This addendum also adds design parameters, in Table 7-1, for resident unit corridors.

Addendum by to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This proposal increases the stringency of the standard by (a) requiring the use of certain lighting controls in more spaces; and (b) shortening times until the lights are automatically reduced or shut off. The design community has asked for a tabular structure for specifying the controls requirements. It is felt that by putting these requirements into a tabular format, the provisions will be clearer and thereby more likely to be complied with and easier to enforce. Modifications have also been made to correct the errors for the wattage threshold for sidelighting and toplighting for daylight responsive controls.

Standard 182-2008 (RA 201X), Method of Testing Absorption Water-Chilling and Water-Heating Packages. The purpose of this standard is to prescribe a method of testing absorption water-chilling and water-heating packages to verify capacity and thermal energy input requirements at a specific set of operating conditions.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 171-2008R, Method of Testing & Rating Seismic Restraint Devices for HVACR Equipment. SPC 171 is proposing to change Standard 171-2008R from a Method of Test to a Method of Test and Rating System standard. With the proposed TPS change, revised Standard 171 will be able to both test and rate seismic restraint devices.

Contact: Mike Woodford.

ASHRAE Call for Members
ASHRAE has issued a Call for Members for the committee SPC 174-2009R, Method of Test for Rating Desiccant-Based Dehumidification Equipment. Those interested in participating can access the necessary forms here, or by contacting Stephanie Reiniche. Contact: Michael Woodford.

New Certification Particpants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Monitor Products, Inc. – Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
  • Style Crest, Inc. – Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
  • Thermo Products, LLC – Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
  • GeoSystems, LLC – Water-Source Heat Pumps (WSHP)
  • Tandem Chillers, Inc. – Water Chilling Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle (Water-Cooled) (WCCL)
  • Qingdao TECO Century Advanced High-Tech Mechatronics Co., Ltd. – Water Chilling Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle (Water Cooled) (WCCL)
  • LG Electronics, Inc. – Water Chilling Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle (Water-Cooled) (WCCL)
  • Bader Al Mulla & Bros. Co. W.L.L. – Variable Air Volume Terminals (VAV)
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd – Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)
  • Century Corporation – Water Chilling Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle (Water-Cooled) (WCCL)
  • Al Salem Johnson Controls Manufacturing Company – Forced Circulation Air-Cooling and Air-Heating Coils (ACHC)
  • Climaflex SA de CV – Water Chilling Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle (Water-Cooled) (WCCL)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

Saudi Arabia Announces New Minimum Energy Performance Standards for Window Room Air Conditioners and Mini-Splits
On February 11, at the opening session of the Saudi HVAC Confex conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al-Saud, Assistant Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources for Petroleum Affairs, announced new minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for window room air conditioners and mini-splits. In addition to his position as Assistant Minister, he is Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for Setting Comprehensive National Program to Conserve and Raise the Efficiency of Energy Consumption – the lead body to address and revise Saudi Arabia’s energy use policies.



The new MEPS at T1 and T3 conditions listed above were made available in an amendment to SASO Standard 2663, and produced by the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center. The effective dates for the new MEPS have not been published, however, AHRI will continue to monitor this issue and keep members informed. Contact: Jim Walters.

AHRI Responds to DOE RFI for Residential Furnace/Boiler Efficiency Test Procedures
On February 19, AHRI submitted comments on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) request for information (RFI) regarding the current efficiency test procedures for residential furnaces and boilers. The comments identified several issues related to DOE’s intent to update its reference of the 2007 edition of ASHRAE Standard 103. AHRI urged DOE to incorporate procedures that allow manufacturers to calculate AFUEs and other required efficiency metrics for models where the design characteristics and components that directly influence the AFUE rating are common. The comments also noted that the cost of product testing for manufacturers is significant and urged DOE to avoid changing policies without cause. Furthermore, AHRI noted that several issues identified by DOE did not warrant further consideration as part of this rulemaking because they would not significantly improve the test procedures. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

HPBA Wins Lawsuit Against DOE
On February 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling in favor of the Hearth, Patio & Barbeque Association (HPBA) in that association’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The lawsuit challenged DOE’s action to include decorative gas fireplaces as a covered product in DOE’s direct heating minimum efficiency standards rule issued April 16, 2010. The court agreed with HPBA that decorative gas fireplaces are not included in the category “Direct Heating Equipment” as defined by federal law and thus are outside of the scope of the final rule. The official action by the court is to vacate the definition of “Vented Hearth Heater” in the final rule and to require that DOE interpret those provisions challenged by HPBA consistent with the court’s decision. 

Since there is no definition of Vented Hearth Heater in the April 16, 2010, final rule, DOE cannot implement the minimum efficiency requirements for gas hearth products scheduled to go into effect on April 16, 2013, and will have to initiate a new rulemaking to define Vented Hearth Heater consistent with the Court’s decision. When DOE initiates this rulemaking, it may reconsider the minimum AFUE requirements, but is not required to do so. The court’s decision has no effect on the revised minimum efficiency requirements for gas wall furnaces, gas floor furnaces, or gas room heaters. All such products manufactured on or after April 16, 2013, will have to meet the new minimum AFUE requirement applicable to the specific product type (wall furnaces, floor furnaces, or room heater) and input range. Contact:Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Responds to Bicameral Task Force Letter
Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently formed the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to focus congressional and public attention on the issue and to develop effective policy responses. The Task Force reached out to AHRI and a number of other stakeholders to solicit views on these issues. AHRI submitted a letter in response, noting that AHRI and its members take seriously our environmental stewardship obligation throughout the business chain, and stating that we welcome the opportunity to work with the Task Force. Contact: Cade Clark.


February 14, 2013


Register Today for the AHRI Public Policy Symposium
Registration for AHRI’s Public Policy Symposium is now available. This important grassroots advocacy event for AHRI members will be held March 20-21, at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. Attendees will learn about the most important issues facing our industry and build relationships with lawmakers and their industry colleagues in face-to-face meetings. 

In addition to these opportunities, attendees can look forward to keynote addresses from S.E. Cupp and Krystal Ball, hosts of the MSNBC program The Cycle; to a private cocktail event on the rooftop terrace of the Hay-Adams Hotel, overlooking the White House; and to hearing directly from Representatives and Senators about what we might expect in the new Congress and how our industry might be affected. Those planning to attend should make hotel reservations soon, as AHRI’s room block expires February 22, and this meeting dovetails with the beginning of the Washington Cherry Blossom Festival. Event registration closes March 8. Click here to register. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

Register Today for the 2013 HVACR & Mechanical Conference
Time is running out to register for the 2013 HVACR & Mechanical Conference, to be held March 11-13 at the Cheyenne Mountain Conference Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This industry-driven event provides instructors and administrators of apprentice and secondary/post-secondary school-based instructional programs with technical information and teaching techniques that will enable them to effectively train the next generation of skilled workers for the HVACR and mechanical industries.

The conference will feature keynote addresses by Jennifer McNelly, President of the Manufacturers Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers; Stephen DeWitt, Senior Director of Public Policy at the Association of Career & Technical Education; and David Calabrese, General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Public Policy at the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute. In addition, individual sessions will be held on a variety of relevant industry topics. View the full schedule of events here. Contact:Alison Bourgault.

AHRI Staff Visit Jackson Systems and Emerson Climate Technologies
On February 6 and 7, AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek and AHRI Certification Engineer Justin Prosser visited Jackson Systems and Emerson Climate Technologies. These visits are an opportunity for AHRI staff to listen and learn about the products, operations, and issues important to our members. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

AHRI Completes Research Projects on Low-GWP Refrigerants and Novel Materials for Heat Exchangers
AHRI recently published two research reports and made them available online. AHRI 8006:Low Global Warming Potential (GWP) Refrigerants, Phase II: 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, summarizes the configurations of air conditioning/heat pump systems using low GWP refrigerants that can meet regulations, codes, and standards’ safety requirements. The report also explores feasible design options that allow the safe use of the above-mentioned low GWP refrigerants. The second report, AHRTI 06030-02: Novel Materials for Heat Exchangers, Phase II, provides performance data necessary for a complete design and analysis of metal and carbonaceous foams as heat exchanger materials. The study also included an evaluation of water drainage in metal foams and heat transfer and pressure drop behavior from wind tunnel experiments with foams of varying pore diameter. The final reports are available online here. Contact: Xudong Wang.

FTC Issues Final Energy Labeling Rule for Furnaces, Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Boilers
On February 6, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a Federal Register noticeproviding amendments to the Energy Labeling Rule that specifies labels for residential central air conditioners and furnaces subject to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) regional efficiency standards. The final rule also includes revised label requirements for residential central heat pumps, boilers, and oil-fired furnaces. These new labels shall be implemented on the date that the regional efficiency standards are effective. Until that time, the current energy labels should be used. Manufacturers also have the option of implementing the new label format prior to the DOE compliance date, however, in weighing whether to begin labeling early, FTC recommends that manufacturers consider the status of the ongoing issues related to the timing of DOE's standards. A summary of the rule is available here. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Submits Testimony on Hawaii Recycling Bill
On February 8, AHRI submitted testimony on S.B. 1135, legislation to amend Hawaii’s existing electronic waste and television recycling and recovery act. AHRI commented that it would oppose the bill unless the bill was amended to clearly exclude HVACR and water heating equipment. Prior to this submission, AHRI provided testimony to S.B. 1135’s companion bill, H.B. 904. The bills expand the legislative scope of Hawaii’s recycling requirements to “any device containing an electric motor, heating element, or a speaker.” The Committee is considering amending the scope of the bill, and AHRI is working with both House and Senate officials on language to ensure the exemption of HVACR and water heating equipment from the proposed legislation. Contact: Cade Clark.

Court Orders New Rulemaking for Decorative Fireplaces
On February 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit handed down a decision in a case brought by the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association against the Department of Energy (DOE) relating to efficiency standards for decorative fireplaces.  In a surprising ruling, the court said that DOE improperly defined decorative fireplaces as “covered products” under the law, making them subject to efficiency standards.  The court ordered a vacatur of the rule, and then ordered the Department to conduct a new rulemaking.  Decisions vacating government rules are relatively rare, and in this case, the court was unusually critical of DOE’s analyses.  While this decision does not affect AHRI products, it may result in the Department taking a more careful look at its future decisions. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

AHRI Responds to Request for Information on DOE's Water Heater Efficiency Test Procedures
On February 11, AHRI responded to a Department of Energy (DOE) request for information (RFI) regarding the development of a uniform efficiency descriptor and corresponding test procedure for residential and commercial water heaters. The comments provide recommendations to define water heaters that would be covered by this revised test procedure, as well as water heaters that are not intended for residential applications and should not be included in this rulemaking. The comments also noted that AHRI will provide its recommendations for a revised efficiency test procedure by the middle of March. Since DOE must have the efficiency descriptor and test procedure rule finalized by December 18, 2013, a notice of proposed rulemaking for this revised test procedure is expected in the next few months. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

DOE Initiates Review of Residential Boiler Efficiency Standards
On February 11, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice announcing 1) the initiation of the “second round” rulemaking on efficiency standards for residential boilers; and 2) the availability of the Framework Document for this rulemaking. Federal law requires that no later than six years after the issuance of a final rule establishing or amending an efficiency standard, DOE must review the current efficiency standard and then publish either a notice announcing that the standards do not need to be amended, or a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that includes proposed revised standards. Since the amended residential boiler efficiency standards were issued by DOE on July 15, 2008, DOE has determined that their decision to either make no change or propose revised standards must be issued by July, 15, 2014. This notice also announces that a public meeting (also available via webinar) to discuss the Framework Document will be held on Wednesday, March 13, from 9am-2pm at DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Comments on the Framework Document must be submitted by March 28. AHRI staff is reviewing the Framework Document and will consult with the Hydronics Institute Section to develop its comments. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

Furnace Engineering Committee and Hydronics Institute Technical Committee Meet
The Furnace Engineering Committee and the Hydronics Institute Technical Committee held a joint meeting on February 12 to develop comments on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) January 4, 2013, Request for Information (RFI) regarding the current energy efficiency test procedure for residential furnaces and boilers. The committees discussed DOE’s proposal to update the reference to ASHRAE Standard 103 from the 1993 edition to the current (2007) edition. They also determined recommendations on the issues identified by DOE that should or should not be considered in this rulemaking. The final comments will be submitted to DOE on February 19, 2013. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Certification Program Successfully Completes SCC Audit
The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) recently conducted a successful full audit for reaccreditation of the AHRI certification programs. From February 5-7, SCC staff evaluated AHRI certification programs’ conformity with certification body requirements documented in ISO/IEC Guide 65, CAN-P-1500L, and associated referenced documents. The results of the intensive audit were extremely positive, with accolades from the auditing team on the programs’ quality management system and AHRI staff members’ expertise in administering certification programs. SCC accreditation is required by National Resources Canada (NRCAN) and benefits AHRI certification program participants who ship certified products across the northern border. For the first time, no corrective actions were registered. Contact:Rupal Choksi.

AHRI Product Sections Respond to Reports of Counterfeit Refrigerants
The AHRI Chemicals and Refrigerant Reclaimers and Mobile Refrigeration Product Sections recently published a white paper, Reports of R-134a Contaminated with R-40 and Other Refrigerants, to assist contractors and others in the industry in identifying and avoiding counterfeit refrigerants. Recently, R134a, R-22, R-404a, and R-410a have been found to be counterfeit, and in some instances badly contaminated. To avoid counterfeit refrigerants, the white paper recommends that contractors know their suppliers, properly verify refrigerants prior to use or servicing equipment, and properly label and isolate contaminated refrigeration systems. The white paper also offers methods to detect contaminants and provides steps for remediation. Contact: Helen Davis.

Update on ASHRAE SSPC 90.1 Activities
The ASHRAE Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC) 90.1 met on January 26-28, in conjunction with the ASHRAE Winter Meeting. At this meeting, the proposed addendum “cl” to revise the minimum IEER requirements for commercial air-cooled and water-cooled air conditioners and heat pumps, initially recommended by AHRI, was modified in response to comments, and the January 1, 2016, effective date was unchanged. An Individual Substantive Change (ISC) for this addenda will be issued with some slightly higher values for the revised IEER minimums proposed in the addenda. Also, because of an administrative issue, SSPC 90.1 adopted for public review a revised ISC to propose addendum “bo” to clarify the proposed requirement regarding the use of high efficiency gas water heaters in new buildings with large hot water loads. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

Joint ACCD Compliance Committee/VAV Modeling Subcommittee Meeting Held in Dallas
A joint Air Control and Distribution Devices Compliance Committee (ACDD CC) and Variable Air Volume (VAV) Modeling Subcommittee meeting was held on January 29 in Dallas. The ACDD CC worked to update the VAV Operations Manual, and the ACDD VAV Modeling Subcommittee worked to develop a research scope for modeling fan powered terminal devices (FPTDs) on the system level. Invited guests Dr. John Bryant and Dr. Dennis O’Neal presented their research associated with Series v. Parallel FPTD energy modeling. Contact:Justin Prosser.


February 8, 2012

AHRI Responds to HARDI Motion in APGA Lawsuit
On February 7, AHRI filed a motion with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in the American Public Gas Association (APGA) v. U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lawsuit in opposition to the motion filed by HARDI to be substituted as a petitioner in the case, so that it can challenge DOE’s direct final rule on residential air conditioner and heat pump standards.  HARDI’s motion was made in response to the Court’s consideration of a settlement of the lawsuit that would result in the furnace rule being vacated and DOE initiating a new rulemaking to set new efficiency standards for residential furnaces.  AHRI was joined by the environmental advocacy groups and DOE in separate filings in opposition to HARDI’s motion.

AHRI’s motion argues that HARDI’s motion would result in an undue burden on manufacturers, as extensive time and capital investments are required to comply with the new energy efficiency standards, which were proposed by AHRI and the efficiency advocates as part of a consensus agreement and promulgated by DOE under authority of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).  If granted, HARDI’s motion would expand the scope of the litigation beyond the claims made by APGA in filing the lawsuit, which was specifically limited to the residential furnace standards in the direct final rule.  While AHRI supports the efficiency standards in the final rule, AHRI’s members are concerned that regulatory and litigation delays have severely limited the time for manufacturers to prepare to meet the compliance deadlines.  Contact: Dave Calabrese or Karim Amrane.

AHRI Co-Sponsors Successful AHR Expo
With 1,951 exhibiting companies spanning 397,000 square feet of exhibit space, the 2013 AHR Expo, held last week in Dallas, was the third largest AHR Expo ever held. More than 51,000 people attended the show to view the current product and equipment offerings of America's – and the world's – leading HVACR and water heating manufacturers and service companies. The annual show is a joint presentation of AHRI, ASHRAE, and the International Exposition Company. Pictured left are Richard Foster (Zonefirst), AHRI Chairman Harry Holmes, AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek, and Dick Schul (Emerson Climate Technologies).
 
Make plans to attend and exhibit at the 2014 AHR Expo, which will be held January 21-23 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Contact: Francis Dietz.

AHRI Staff Presents on Low-GWP AREP
AHRI Manager of Research Xudong Wang reported on the AHRI Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP) during the 2013 ASHRAE Winter Meeting in Dallas. The program and its current status were presented in the seminar session,Industry-Wide Efforts to Evaluate Lower GWP Refrigerants. Currently, nine Low-GWP AREP test reports have been made available to the public, and can be downloaded from the AHRI website. Contact: Xudong Wang

ASHRAE Presents Platinum Circle Investors Award to AHRI
AHRI received the ASHRAE Platinum Circle Investor Award on January 28, during ASHRAE Winter Conference in Dallas. This award is presented to contributors who have provided significant financial leadership to ASHRAE at the $20,000 and higher level. Contact: Xudong Wang.

2013 NATE Magazine Now Available Online
North American Technician Excellence (NATE), the nation’s largest industry-endorsed, non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians, released the 2013 edition of NATE Magazine in conjunction with Penton Media at the 2013 AHR Expo in Dallas. The publication includes commentary from NATE Chairman Donald Frendberg, articles about the importance of recertification and continuing education, and updates on NATE’s efforts to revise examinations. It also celebrates “Top Techs” from around the country and provides a history of the Golden Toolbox Award, created byContractingBusiness.com magazine and NATE to recognize those who publicly support and advocate for NATE HVACR technician certification. Contact: Valerie Briggs.

Register Today for the AHRI Public Policy Symposium
Registration for AHRI’s Public Policy Symposium is now available. Register today to participate in this important grassroots advocacy event for AHRI members. The symposium will be held March 20-21, at the Hay-Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C. Attendees will learn about the most important issues facing our industry and build relationships with lawmakers and their industry colleagues in face-to-face meetings. Those planning to attend should make hotel reservations quickly, as AHRI’s room block expires February 22, and this meeting dovetails with the beginning of the Washington Cherry Blossom Festival. Event registration closes March 8. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

DOE Proposes to Add Missing Calculations to Furnace/Boiler Test Procedure
On February 4, the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to revise the residential furnace/boiler efficiency test to add calculations for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of a condensing, modulating residential boiler or furnace when the option to omit heat-up and cool-down tests is used. This NOPR was developed in response to AHRI’s December 17, 2012, letter to DOE that recommended calculations to resolve a flaw AHRI previously presented to DOE. A preliminary review of the NOPR indicates that DOE is proposing to incorporate AHRI’s proposed calculations. A public meeting to discuss this NOPR will be held on Wednesday, March 13, from 9 a.m.-noon at DOE Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Comments on this NOPR must be submitted by April 22 (details are included in the NOPR). AHRI staff will consult with the Furnace and Hydronics Institute Product Sections to develop comments. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

FTC Proposes Revised Ranges of Comparability for EnergyGuide Labels
On January 9, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a proposed rule to update the ranges of comparability for residential water heater and gas-fired pool heater EnergyGuide labels. The proposal also would require that the estimated annual energy cost shown on the EnergyGuide label for water heaters be updated using 2012 national average energy costs. This notice also includes some proposed text changes for the water heater and pool heater labels. This proposed rule does not include any labeling changes for residential furnaces, boilers, central air conditioners, or heat pumps, as the FTC has decided to delay the EnergyGuide label changes for these products to coincide with pending revisions to DOE efficiency regulations. 

AHRI staff has identified several issues with the proposed new ranges for water heaters and gas-fired pool heaters. It should be noted, for example, that for some products the reason noted by DOE for deferring the changes in the ranges does not apply. The revised standards for gas and oil boilers went into effect in September 2012 and there are no revised efficiency regulations pending for this product. And in the case of weatherized (outdoor) gas furnaces and oil-fired furnaces, the revised efficiency standards will go into effect on May 1, which is before the effective date of these proposed label changes.

In 2007, the FTC amended the Appliance Labeling Rule to set a five-year schedule for updating comparability ranges and annual energy cost information. Even though this is the first five-year update of the ranges of comparability, the FTC is seeking comment on whether it should update range and cost information more frequently.
 
Comments must be submitted to the FTC by March 1; instructions are provided in the notice. AHRI will develop comments to address the identified water heater and pool heater label issues and will, based on consultation with the affected product sections, respond to the decision to defer changes in the ranges for some covered products. In addition, AHRI will support the current rule that requires changes every five years. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Submits Testimony on Hawaii Recycling Bill
AHRI recently submitted testimony on H.B. 904, legislation drafted by the Hawaii Department of Health’s Electric Device Recycling Task Force to amend Hawaii’s existing electronic waste and television recycling and recovery act. The bill expands the legislative scope of the recycling requirements to “any device containing an electric motor, heating element, or a speaker.” The bill does include an exemption for a “white good,” defined as “a discarded major appliance, including, but not limited to a washing machine, clothes dryer, hot water heater, stove, and refrigerator.” The Department of Health indicated that it considers HVACR and water heating equipment white goods, meaning they would not fall within the scope of the legislation. Despite the Department’s position, the definitions and exemptions for white goods in the bill do not adequately provide the needed legal clarity for AHRI members, and AHRI noted in its testimony that it would oppose the bill unless it was amended to clearly exclude HVACR and water heating equipment. AHRI will continue to work with the Hawaii legislature to clarify the exemption contained in the bill. Contact: Cade Clark.

DOE Issues Notice on Standards for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers
On February 1, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Federal Register notice of public meeting and availability of the framework document concerning energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fans and blowers, which DOE considers to be types of fans with specific ratios between 1.11 and 1.20. The framework document and details on how to participate at the public meeting are available here. In the notice, DOE proposes to determine that commercial and industrial fans are covered equipment under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA). In this rulemaking, DOE is not considering standards for fans that are components in regulated commercial products. In addition to considering energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fans and blowers, DOE may consider standby and off mode energy use for such products as part of this rulemaking since many of those products do not operate continuously. 

The framework document explains the relevant issues, analyses, and processes DOE anticipates using to determine whether to establish energy conservation standards, and, if so, for the development of such standards. DOE is planning to conduct in-depth technical analyses in the following areas: engineering; energy-use characterization; equipment price; life-cycle cost and payback period; as well as national, manufacturer, utility, employment, emission, and regulatory impacts. DOE will also conduct several other analyses that support those previously listed, including the market and technology assessment, the screening analysis (which contributes to the engineering analysis), and the shipments analysis (which contributes to the national impact analysis).

DOE will hold a public meeting to discuss the information presented within the framework document on February 21, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in Washington, D.C. At the public meeting, which will be accessible via webinar, DOE is expected make presentations and invite discussion on the rulemaking process as it applies to commercial and industrial fans. DOE is soliciting comments, data, and information from participants and other interested parties before and after the public meeting, but no later than March 18. AHRI staff will consult with the affected product sections to develop comments. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

DOE Publishes Framework Document on Commercial and Industrial Pumps
On February 1, 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice in the Federal Register indicating its intention to establish federal energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial pumps. The notice also announced the availability of a framework document detailing the analytical approach and preliminary scope of the rulemaking and identifying several issues on which DOE is interested in receiving comments. DOE also announced that it will hold a public hearing on February 20, 2013, from 9am-4pm at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C., to solicit input from stakeholders. DOE will accept comments on the framework document until March 18, 2013. AHRI is working with members of the Fluid Pumps Product Section to develop an industry position. Contact: Karim Amrane.

DOE Issues Request for Information on Unitary Large Products
On February 1, 2013, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice soliciting information from the public to help the Department assess if federal energy efficiency standards for unitary large air conditioners and heat pumps (65 to 760 kBtu/h) should be amended. According the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), DOE is required to consider amending the standards for any covered commercial equipment for which more than six years has elapsed since the issuance of the most recent final rule establishing or amending a standard for the product. Given that the minimum federal standards for unitary large equipment were last amended on October 18, 2005, DOE is obligated to publish, no later than December 31, 2013, either a notice of determination that standards for these products do not need to be amended, or a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing amended energy efficiency standards.

In the Request for Information (RFI), DOE seeks input and data from stakeholders to help in the development of the technical and economic analyses to determine whether amended energy conservation standards are warranted. However, DOE also is seeking information on the merit to replace the current full load energy efficiency descriptor for cooling (i.e. EER) with the part load energy efficiency descriptor IEER. In addition, DOE conducted an analysis on the relationship between IEER and EER to establish a baseline IEER for each equipment class. DOE will accept comments on the RFI until March 4, 2013. AHRI is working with members of the Unitary Large Equipment Product Section to develop an industry position. Contact: Karim Amrane.

ENERGY STAR Provides Notification of Upcoming Cessation Date for Residential Water Heater Specifications
On January 28, AHRI received notification from ENERGY STAR regarding the upcoming cessation date for Version 1.1 certification specifications. After February 15, EPA-recognized certification bodies are required to cease certification of residential water heater models to the Version 1.1 specification and utilize only Version 2.0 specifications. However, certification bodies may continue to submit administrative modifications to existing residential water heater certifications to the previous specifications until June 30. As of July 1, all products manufactured and labeled as ENERGY STAR must meet Version 2.0 requirements. Contact:Maryline Rassi.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
Public commentary is invited by ASHRAE for the following Public Review Draft Standards, which can be accessed by going to ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/Public Review Drafts web page or by contacting Stephanie Reiniche. Comments are due February 24. 
  • 3rd Public Review of BSR/ASHRAE Standard 188P, Prevention of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems. The purpose of this proposed standard is to present practices for the prevention of Legionellosis associated with centralized industrial and commercial building water systems.
  • 2nd Public Review of BSR/ASHRAE/IES Standard 202P, Commissioning Process for Buildings and Systems. The purpose of this proposed standard is to identify the minimum acceptable Commissioning Process for buildings and systems.
Contact: Michael Woodford.

Product Section Focus: Central Station Air-Handling Unit Engineering Committee Meets in Dallas
The Central Station Air-Handling Unit Engineering Committee met on January 29 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, to continue development of AHRI Draft Standards 1350P (I-P) and 1351P (SI), Performance Rating of Central Station Air-Handling Unit Casing. The next committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 12, via webcast. Contact: Laura Petrillo-Groh.

AHRI Builds and and Strengthens Global Partnerships at AHR Expo
At the recent AHR Expo in Dallas, AHRI strengthened relationships and cooperation with more than a dozen of its Global Partners and colleagues from around the world. AHRI’s Annual Global Partners Reception, held at Wolfgang Puck’s 360° revolving Five-Sixty Restaurant high above Dallas, was attended by more than 60 professionals from 15 countries. Attendees were able to meet (L-R) Claude Blanc, incoming (April 2013) President of ASERCOM, and to thank the outgoing President Jochen Winkler for his long and distinguished service.
 
Throughout the week, AHRI staff met with organizations and associations from Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Europe, India, Korea, Turkey, and the United Nations Environment Programme. The meetings included conversations regarding certification, standards, regulations, cooperation, and refrigerant policies. 
 
In addition, the International Council of Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Manufacturers Associations (ICARHMA) held its Annual Working Group meeting to plan for its Annual Meeting, which will be hosted by ICARHMA member ABRAVA in Rio de Janeiro in October. Contact: Jim Walters.