AHRI Update: January 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.

January 24, 2013

Join Us Next Week at the AHR Expo
For three days next week, you are invited to test-drive the latest energy efficient and sustainable HVACR technology, products, and equipment under one roof, at one time. Over 1,800 leading manufacturers and innovative new suppliers will be in Dallas January 28-30 to showcase their latest products and systems, building automation and controls, software and services, and more. Coupled with a powerful line-up of association meetings and educational and networking opportunities, no other event drives the HVACR industry forward to meet the demands for a greener planet. Plan to be one of the nearly 30,000 contractors, engineers, distributors, facility managers, OEMs, and other HVACR professionals expected to attend from around the world.

While you’re there, be sure to stop by AHRI’s booth (#1933) to learn about the importance of AHRI Certified products in improving and maintaining comfort; enhancing safety, health, and quality of life; and in meeting building sustainability goals. Contact: Francis Dietz.

New AHRI Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome a new member company, ITW Sexton, which participates in the Chemicals and Refrigerant Reclaimers Section. Contact: Freshta Rosario.

Latest AHRI Member Roster Now Available
The January 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.

DOE Schedules First ASRAC Meeting
On January 17, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the first meeting of the Appliance Standards and Rulemakings Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC). The purpose of the meeting is to provide advice and recommendations to DOE on the development of standards and test procedures for residential appliances and commercial equipment, certification and enforcement of standards, and product labeling. The first ASRAC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 26, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at DOE headquarters in Washington, DC. The tentative meeting agenda includes an overview of the appliance standards program, a discussion on the committee’s purpose and structure, and a discussion of appliances and equipment best suited for the negotiated rulemaking process. The committee is comprised of the following individuals:
  • Co-Chair: Mr. Andrew deLaski, Appliance Standards Awareness Project
  • Co-Chair: Mr. John Mandyck, UTC Climate, Controls & Security
  • Ms. Ashley Armstrong, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Mr. John Caskey, National Electrical Manufacturers Association
  • Mr. Timothy Cassidy, Best Buy Co., Inc.
  • Mr. Thomas Coughlin, National Grid
  • Mr. Steven Cousins, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Mr. Thomas Eckman, Northwest Power and Conservation Council
  • Dr. David Hungerford, California Energy Commission
  • Ms. Kelley Kline, General Electric, Appliances
  • Mr. Kent Peterson, P2S Engineering, Inc.
Members of the public interested in attending the meeting should contact DOE no later than February 15. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI Meets with EPEE in Brussels
Last week, AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek and David Calabrese participated in meetings with the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) to discuss developments and strategy related to the proposed EU F-gas regulation and energy efficiency standards. EPEE has developed an industry response to the F-Gas regulation that advocates for the preservation of refrigerant choice. The response also opposes the EU Commission’s proposed bans on pre-charging equipment, servicing, and establishing a legal base for the regulation that would allow individual member states to implement stricter regulations than proposed. As an EPEE Partner, AHRI is providing input and guidance to the discussions and strategy efforts. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

House Passes Legislation Suspending Debt Limit Enforcement
On January 23, the House passed Speaker Boehner’s “No Budget, No Pay” legislation that suspends enforcement of the federal debt limit through May 18, allowing the Treasury Department to continue borrowing enough to fund government expenditures. The legislation also requires the Senate to pass a budget by the middle of April, at the risk of Senators not receiving a paycheck. On May 19, the debt limit would automatically be reset at a higher level that reflected the additional borrowing. The Republican leadership believes this will enable them to restructure the fiscal legislative arguments, thereby allowing them to focus on sequestration and funding for the government first, and the debt ceiling later.

Pushing the default deadline later into the year could impact President Obama’s ability to accomplish his administration’s top priorities for his second term in office, which he outlined during his inaugural address Tuesday. He listed climate change as a priority, vowing to confront carbon emissions, because, he said, anything less would “betray our children.” Having to expend any significant political capital on the nation’s fiscal issues could impact the President’s ability to push for his remaining priorities. Contact: Cade Clark.

EPA Modifies Final Draft ENERGY STAR Commercial Water Heater Specification
On January 16, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an update to the Final Draft Version 1.0 specifications for commercial water heaters. This updated document revises the Final Draft that was issued by EPA in December 2012. The primary change in this update is a revision to the specifications for gas instantaneous water heaters to include models with input ratings less than 200,000 Btu/h. This includes changes to the definition, the table of requirements, and test methods referenced. This change is consistent with AHRI’s comment regarding the definition of gas instantaneous water heaters. No other changes to the Final Draft Version 1.0 document are proposed in this update. Comments on this updated document must be submitted to by January 30, 2013. The EPA plans to finalize this specification in the first week of February and make it effective immediately thereafter. Contact: Frank Stanonik

ANSI Energy Efficiency Collaborative Holds First Plenary Meeting
The inaugural plenary meeting of the ANSI Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC) was held in Arlington, Virginia, January 22-23. The plenary meeting marked the first in-person occasion where all EESCC members and stakeholders had an opportunity to discuss Phase One of the EESCC standardization roadmap. The roadmap focuses on five areas addressed by the five working groups that have been meeting regularly since December to begin the standards needs assessment and lay the strategic groundwork for their portion of the roadmap.

The five working groups are:
  • WG1: Building energy and water assessment standards;
  • WG2: Systems integration and communications;
  • WG3: Building energy modeling, rating, and labeling;
  • WG4: Evaluation, measurement, and verification; and
  • WG5: Workforce credentialing.
Day one of the plenary meeting included reports from the Working Groups, as well as a general discussion of the collaborative’s scope, inventory database, coordination with external initiatives, participation, WG coordination, and milestones. Day two featured concurrent breakout meetings with discussions focused on scope, issue area leaders, EESCC inventory, and the proposed EESCC roadmap template, and concluded with an open discussion of coordination issues and next steps.

The EESCC is now soliciting input regarding relevant standards, codes, guidelines, and conformance programs that are available or under development, and the perceived gaps in energy efficiency standardization and conformance activities that currently exist. The EESCC is led by two co-chairs from the public and private sectors: Benjamin Goldstein of the U.S. Department of Energy; and John Tuccillo of Schneider Electric/The Green Grid. Contact:Michael Woodford.

Effective Date Approaching for Updated ENERGY STAR Program Requirements
On January 18, AHRI received notification from ENERGY STAR of the February 1 effective date for Version 2.0 program requirements for commercial ice machines and Version 4.0 program requirements for furnaces. As of that date, the ENERGY STAR list of qualified commercial ice machines and furnaces will only contain products certified to the new specifications, and all products certified to the previous specifications will be removed from the list. Certification bodies, like AHRI, may only certify these products to the new specifications and must submit them to EPA using the new XML-based web service. Interested parties may contact EPA with any questions.Contact: Maryline Rassi.

January 17, 2013

New Geothermal System eBook Now Available
BNP Media collaborated with AHRI and its Geothermal and Water-Source Heat Pumps Product Section to develop an informative eBook on geothermal systems. The publication includes details on the geothermal market, tax incentives, and financing options. View the eBook here. Contact: Francis Dietz.

Go Mobile at AHR Expo and ASHRAE Conference
The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigerating (AHR) Exposition will be held January 28-30 in Dallas. Download the Expo mobile app here, and visit AHRI at booth #1933. AHRI also is a proud sponsor of the new ASHRAE Winter Conference mobile app. Contact:Monica Cardenas.

DOE, APGA Reach Settlement on Furnace Rule
On January 11, a final settlement agreement between the Department of Energy and the American Public Gas Association was submitted to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with a request that it accept the settlement.  Under terms of the agreement, the Direct Final Rule issued in June 2011 would be (1) vacated as it relates to energy conservation standards for non-weatherized gas furnaces, including standby and off-mode energy consumption; and (2) remanded to DOE for a full rulemaking. This agreement would eliminate the May 1, 2013, effective date for compliance with the Direct Final Rule with respect to non-weatherized gas furnaces.  It does not affect the regional standards contained in the rule, or the implementation dates, for weatherized furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. Contact:Francis Dietz.

AHRI Video Update: Government Affairs Committee Sets Priorities
During its first meeting of the year, the AHRI Government Affairs Committee determined advocacy efforts and set legislative priorities for the 113th Congress. The Committee’s top priority is to reduce the impact of DOE’s regulatory burden. Other priorities include: engaging in tax reform discussions; promoting the health benefits of A/C and heating products; engaging in energy efficiency legislation; monitoring East Coast storm recovery plans; and continuing to engage in state outreach and legislation. For further information about AHRI’s legislative priorities for 2013, watch the AHRI Video Update here. The Committee will meet again in May and September to provide continued direction on AHRI’s legislative priorities and advocacy efforts. Contact: Cade Clark.

Environmental Protection Agency Extends No Action Assurance
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised and extended a No Action Assurance establishing that the EPA will not pursue enforcement of violations of the prohibitions at 40 C.F.R. Part 82 in 2013. This regulation prohibits the production and importation of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b, without allowances allocated by the EPA. The lowest amount of allowances a company would receive under any of the proposed options are presented in a letter from Cynthia Giles, EPA Assistant Administrator. Contact: Karim Amrane.

DOE Request for Information on Water Heater Efficiency Test Procedures
On January 11, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a request for information (RFI)regarding the development of a uniform efficiency descriptor and corresponding test procedure for residential and commercial water heaters. This RFI initiates the rulemaking that DOE was directed to develop by the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA), which became law on December 18, 2012. That law requires DOE to have the efficiency descriptor and test procedure rule finalized by December 18, 2013.

This RFI requests comments and information related to each of the options for the universal efficiency descriptor specified in AEMTCA. The notice also requests comments and information on: developing appropriate mathematical conversion factors for the new energy descriptor; the exclusion of water heaters not used in residential applications; developing a capacity rating for commercial water heaters; and the inclusion of hot water supply boilers in this rulemaking. Comments must be submitted by February 11. AHRI staff will consult with the Water Heater Product Section to develop a response to this RFI. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

DOE Issues Roadmap for Geothermal Heat Pumps
The Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program (BTP) for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy identified Geothermal Heat Pumps (GHP) as a high-impact technology that can substantially reduce energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings. BTP recently issued a Research and Development Roadmap for GHP that will be helpful to manufacturers of these products. The Roadmap summarizes the current state of the industry, and identifies potential activities and technical innovations that may enable substantial improvements in the installation cost and/or efficiency of residential and commercial GHP. The Roadmap identifies twelve high-priority initiatives across five categories: software, best practices, technologies, data collection, and policy and regulations. Contact: Xudong Wang.

Save the Date for AHRI's Public Policy Symposium
As you plan for your 2013 business travel, please keep in mind that the AHRI Public Policy Symposium will take place March 20-21, 2013. As in past years, the program will feature informative briefings by political pundits, senior Congressional staff, and policy makers from the House and Senate. Look for registration information in your inbox soon. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

AHRI Solicits Proposals for Certification Testing
On December 31, 2012, AHRI sent a request for proposals to ISO Standard 17025-accredited independent laboratories to conduct product performance testing for its certification program from 2014-2017. Qualified independent laboratories will have the opportunity to bid for 32 certification programs, with more than 2,000 tests projected annually. AHRI Certified products are shipped worldwide, and laboratories with multiple locations, both domestic and international, will be favored. 

Independent laboratory proposals are due to AHRI on March 1. AHRI will review all proposals and present to the relevant product sections at the AHRI Spring Meeting, May 8-10. AHRI expects to complete the laboratory selections by June 1. Contact: Bill Tritsis.

Certification Programs and Policy Committee Meets at AHRI Headquarters
The Certification Programs and Policy Committee (CP&P) met in December to review revised Operations Manuals from several certification programs. The committee approved a new program violation structure that includes two tiers (Major and Minor) of program violations under which three Tier 2 (Minor) program violations will result in one Tier 1 (Major) violation. The Tier 2 violations are procedural-type violations. The new program violation structure will be highlighted in the next revision of the General Operations Manual. Contact:Bill Tritsis.

ANSI Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative Seeks Input
The American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC) is soliciting input regarding relevant standards, codes, guidelines, and conformity assessment programs that are available or in development, and the perceived gaps in energy efficiency standardization and conformance activities that currently exist. 

The Collaborative is a cross-sector, neutral forum and focal point for broad-based coordination among energy efficiency activities involving or impacted by standardization and regulations. The objective of the collaborative is to assess the standardization landscape and carry out the development of a standardization roadmap for energy efficiency within the built environment. The EESCC is reaching out to current members and organizations in the ANSI federation, as well as other individuals and groups in the larger standards and conformity assessment community and beyond. Submissions regarding major gaps, challenges, or untapped opportunities in the energy standardization landscape are also encouraged. Submitters are asked to explain why the gap is a priority, who the affected stakeholders are, and how the gap could be addressed by the public or private sector.

The EESCC will hold its inaugural plenary meeting on January 22-23, at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The EESCC has also begun holding regular web meetings of its five working groups. For more information on taking part in the web meetings as a prospective member, contact AHRI staff is monitoring this activity and will provide periodic updates. Contact: Michael Woodford.

ASHRAE Call for Members
ASHRAE has announced a call for members for the Standard Project Committee 25, Methods of Testing Forced Convection and Natural Convection Air Coolers for Refrigeration. This standard prescribes methods of testing the cooling capacities and air flow rates of forced convection and natural convection air coolers for refrigeration. Persons who are 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. Contact: Michael Woodford.

January 10, 2013

2013 AHRI Dues Invoices Sent
Dues invoices for 2013 AHRI membership were sent via email in December. The due date for payment is January 31. Contact: Stephanie Murphy.

Visit AHRI at the AHR Expo
The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigerating (AHR) Exposition will be held January 28-30 in Dallas. More than 1,800 manufacturers and suppliers will be on hand to showcase their latest products and software. AHRI’s exhibit will showcase member companies and our world class certification program. The AHR Expo is jointly sponsored by AHRI, ASHRAE, and the International Exposition Company. Visit AHRI at booth #1933. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

Report on AHRI Product Section Activities
More than 30 product section meetings were held in Palm Springs, California, during AHRI’s Annual Meeting in November 2012. Sections discussed pertinent legislative and regulatory issues, standards, and future goals. Read summaries from each section meeting here. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

AHRI Video Update: 2012 Year in Review
AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurekprovides an overview of AHRI’s accomplishments and highlights from 2012 in this edition of the AHRI Video Update. Yurek notes achievements from a variety of departments, and how AHRI’s efforts have positively impacted our members. For more detailed information on many of the topics discussed, please access the archived editions of the AHRI Update here. Look for more updates from AHRI on its YouTube Channel, at AHRICommunications. Contact: Sean Lynch.

AHRI Names Guido Zucconi Employee of the Year
AHRI congratulates Guido Zucconi on being named 2012’s Employee of the Year, presented in recognition of his commitment to excellence in his role as Director of Congressional Affairs.  Guido represented the interests of AHRI members on Capitol Hill on a wide variety of legislative and regulatory issues in a difficult Congressional climate, including his crucial involvement in the passage of the AHRI-supported bi-partisan regulatory relief legislation, H.R. 6582, the American Energy Manufacturers Technical Corrections Act. Contact: Cade Clark.

AHRI Staff Developments
AHRI announces several promotions and position changes within our staff.

Carol Loughney has been promoted to Senior Director, Meetings and Events. In this position, she will continue to expand the services of the Meetings and Events Department to product section-related meetings and overseas event planning. She will continue to manage the Spring and Annual Meetings, along with a variety of other AHRI meetings and events. 

Hubert Liu has been promoted to Project Manager. In this role, he will deliver business requirements with the support of IT development resources and liaise with regulatory agencies to effectively represent the needs of members. 

Wanda Wilkinson has joined the Public Policy Department as the Executive Assistant to the General Counsel, where she will provide administrative support to Dave Calabrese and serve as an administrative resource within the Policy Department. 

Kristin Fleming will be moving to a full-time position as a Program Specialist for the Certification Department. In this role, she will manage a variety of administrative responsibilities related to certification programs, including new applicant tracking, certification agreements and contracts, and facility inspection certificates.

Contact: Monica Cardenas

AHRI Government Affairs Committee Meets
On Wednesday, January 9, the AHRI Government Affairs Committee met at AHRI to determine advocacy efforts and set legislative priorities for the 113th Congress. Members discussed strategy on handling legal, regulatory, and global issues impacting the industry, and provided critical direction and input on effective outreach to newly elected officials serving in Congress. The Committee will meet again in May and September to provide continued direction on AHRI’s legislative priorities and advocacy efforts. Contact: Cade Clark.

Grassroots Survey Planned for Release
One of AHRI’s core services is representing members’ interests on Capitol Hill. Understanding where our members are located and who their elected officials are is a critical component of effectively advocating on your behalf. To best serve our membership, AHRI is conducting a grassroots survey to update our database to match our members with their congressional representatives. This is especially important as we welcome several freshman members of Congress. The information gathered is strictly confidential, and will only be used for internal AHRI purposes. Look for the survey in your inbox shortly and we appreciate your participation. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

FTC Amends Appliance Labeling Rule
On December 31, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a final rule amending some of the provisions in its appliance labeling rule. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 10. The amendments published in this document will become effective on February 15, with the exception of the amendments to sections 16 CFR 305.4(b)(6) and 16 CFR 305.6, which become effective on July 15, and the amendments to section 16 CFR 305.20 and Appendix L, which become effective on January 15, 2014. The amendments in the final rule:
  • Harmonize the FTC’s reporting and testing requirements with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Manufacturers can now meet the FTC reporting requirements by using DOE’s web-based Compliance and Certification Management System (CCMS). In addition, the content of energy disclosures for the FTC labels will be based on DOE-required testing provisions.
  • Require manufacturers to make images of their EnergyGuide labels available on a website for linking and downloading by both paper catalogs and websites. Under the final rule, the labels must remain available online for six months after the manufacturer ceases to produce the model, instead of two years as had been recommended in the proposed rule. Although the posting requirement applies to manufacturers and not private labelers, nothing prohibits manufacturers from arranging with private labelers to post the labels on the private labelers’ websites. The final rule does not mandate that manufacturers post such labels on their own sites; manufacturers will be in compliance as long as their labels are made available on a publicly accessible website. The rule requires that manufacturers make their labels available online by July 15.
  • Clarify the penalty assessments for non-labeling violations listed in 16 CFR 305.4(b). These violations include refusal to allow access to records, refusal to submit required data reports, refusal to permit FTC officials to observe testing, refusal to supply units for testing, failure to disclose required energy information in websites and paper catalogs, and failure of manufacturers to make labels available online. Violations are subject to civil penalties calculated on a per-model, per-day basis.
  • Change the rule’s title to “Part 305 - Energy and Water Use Labeling For Consumer Products Under The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (“Energy Labeling Rule”).” When originally promulgated in 1979, the rule applied only to appliances. Subsequently, the FTC expanded the rule to include lighting, plumbing, and consumer electronics. Hence, the rule’s title was modified to account for this scope expansion.
  • Allow a wider version of the ENERGY STAR logo on heating and cooling equipment labels (16 CFR 305.12). The logo must be 1 inch high and no greater than 3 inches wide.
  • Contain some technical corrections and clarifications. In rule sections related to the ENERGY STAR program, the final rule changes the term “qualified” to “certified” to reflect the terminology currently employed by the ENERGY STAR program.
Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

DOE Issues Final Rule on Standby and Off Mode Test Procedures for Residential Furnaces and Boilers
On December 31, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published the final rule, effective January 30, regarding standby and off mode test procedures for residential furnaces and boilers. The final rule amends test procedures to incorporate by reference the latest edition of the IEC Standard, specifically IEC Standard 62301 (Second Edition). Representations may be made using the new metrics PW,SB and PW,OFF and any other measure of energy consumption that depends on PW,SB and PW,OFF, which were adopted pursuant to the amendments in the final rule. The compliance date for any representations relating to standby and off mode energy consumption of residential furnaces and boilers is July 1; on and after this date, any such representations must be based upon results generated under these test procedures and sampling plans. However, DOE also clarified that use of these test procedure amendments are not required for purposes of energy conservation standards compliance until May 1 (for non-weatherized gas and oil furnaces including mobile home furnaces, and all electric furnaces); this is the compliance date of the recently amended energy conservation standards for residential furnaces, which include standards for standby and off mode energy consumption. Amended energy conservation standards addressing standby and off mode for boilers will apply on the compliance date for the next energy conservation standards rulemaking for those products.

The final rule also clarifies the rounding guidance and sampling provisions for the new measurement of standby mode and off mode wattage. In response to DOE’s September 2011 proposed rule, AHRI recommended that DOE amend its rounding guidance to allow standby and off mode power to be rounded to one decimal place instead of the proposed two decimal places. DOE disagreed and noted that it has already established energy conservation standards that are expressed to two significant figures, e.g., 10 watts PW,SB (or off mode power PW,OFF, where appropriate) for gas-fired and electric furnaces and 11 watts PW,SB (or off mode power PW,OFF, where appropriate) for oil-fired furnaces. Therefore, certification to these standards utilizing the IEC rounding guidance would likely require reporting to the second decimal place, and only reported values between 11 watts and 10 watts for oil-fired and electric furnaces would be allowed a single decimal place report. DOE also believes that companies can easily support this level of reporting through the use of IEC Standard 62301-compliant instrumentation. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

EPA Issues Revised Final Rules for Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers
On December 20, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two final rules that revise the national emission standards for commercial, institutional, and industrial boilers that are "major" or "area" sources, respectively. The final rule that established these national emission standards was initially issued by the EPA in March 2011. At that time, the EPA issued a separate notice announcing a process to reconsider some aspects of these two rules. These revised rules are the result of that reconsideration. 

The revised area source rule applies to all boilers, except those fired by natural gas, which meet the EPA definition of either a commercial, institutional, or industrial boiler and which are an area source of emissions. This revised rule establishes separate subcategories and corresponding requirements for oil-fired boilers with input rates not greater than 5,000,000 Btu/h, seasonal boilers, limited-use boilers, and boilers equipped with an oxygen trim system to maintain an optimum air-to-fuel ratio. For oil-fired boilers in one of these new subcategories, the area source rule requires that a tune-up be performed every five years. New and existing oil-fired boilers with input rates greater than 5,000,000 Btu/h are required to have a tune-up every two years. The implementation date for these tune-up requirements on existing boilers has been extended two years, to March 21, 2014. 

The revised major source rule applies to all boilers that meet the EPA definition of either a commercial, institutional, or industrial boiler and are a major source of emissions. This revised rule establishes separate subcategories and corresponding requirements for boilers burning light liquid (distillate oil, biodiesel or vegetable oil) and heavy liquid (residual oil or other liquid that is not light liquid), and adds an exception for residential boilers. This revised rule specifies emission standards for boilers, except those fired by natural gas, with input rates of 10,000,000 Btu/h or greater. The CO emission limit for liquid fuel fired boilers has been increased to 130 ppm at 3 percent oxygen, and separate, particulate matter limits have been specified for boilers fueled with light or heavy liquid. The implementation date for these revised emission requirements remains at three years after the date of publication in the Federal Register; i.e. sometime in January 2016. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

DOE Requests Information on Residential Furnace/Boiler Efficiency Test Procedures
On January 4, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a request for information (RFI) regarding the current efficiency test procedures for residential furnaces and boilers. This RFI was issued to start the process of reviewing the residential furnace/boiler efficiency test procedures as required by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The Department plans to update the reference to ASHRAE Standard 103 from the 1993 edition to the 2007 edition. The notice also identified a number of issues regarding the efficiency test procedure for which DOE is seeking comments. Those issues include:
  • reconsideration of several default values, tolerance ranges, and statistical variability;
  • tightening of the allowable room air temperature range;
  • supply water temperatures specified for boilers;
  • inconsistency between recommended test setup and field settings in installation instructions;
  • incorporation of a method for part load efficiency into the electricity consumption calculations for modulating equipment to address variable speed motors or pumps; and
  • reconsideration of average burner operating hours.
In addition, DOE is seeking comments and information on including a performance test to demonstrate that the “automatic means” required on residential boilers will verify compliance, and expanding the scope of the DOE test procedure to include combination space heating/water heating equipment. Comments must be submitted to DOE by February 19. AHRI will discuss this RFI with affected product sections to develop the comments for submission. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE invites public comments on Addendum cs of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This addendum proposes definitions for computer rooms and data centers. With the approval of ASHRAE Standard 90.4P, feedback is needed to clarify the scope and definitions. Input received during this advisory public review will help guide committee action moving forward. Computer rooms would remain under the scope of the 90.1 Standard, while data centers would currently be exempt while ASHRAE Standard 90.4P is developed. 

Comments are due February 3. Public Review Drafts can be accessed for commentary by going to ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/ Public Review Drafts web page. Contact: Michael Woodford.

January 3, 2013

New Study Reveals Health Benefits of Home Air Conditioning
The Washington Post reported recently on a new study that found home air conditioning reduced heat-related death rates of Americans to 0.5 percent after 1960. Before 1960, very few homes had air conditioning, and the death rate due to excessive heat was 2.5 percent. The research was conducted by a team from Tulane University, Carnegie Mellon University, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Read more in the Washington Post. Contact: Francis Dietz.

AHRI Introduces New Membership Recruitment Tool
Visit the new Join AHRI website to access resources for new and prospective members of AHRI. On the site, users can access a full listing of member benefits, as well as information on how new members may take full advantage of membership in AHRI. Current AHRI members are invited to use this resource as a tool to encourage industry colleagues to join; application information is available on the site. Current members may also view the full listing of new member resources, including newsletter sign-up, members-only access, and a long-term events calendar. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

Congress, President Retroactively Extend HVAC and Water Heating 25C Tax Credits
On January 2, President Obama signed legislation designed to avoid the “fiscal cliff” and keep tax rates from increasing for every American who pays taxes. In addition to its many other tax provisions, the bill retroactively reinstates the 25C tax credits for highly efficient HVAC and water heating equipment that expired at the end of 2011. 

Specifically, the bill extends the tax credits that expired in 2011 from January 1, 2012, until December 31, 2013, for qualified equipment listed in Section 25C of the Internal Revenue Code. Because the credits were made retroactive to January 1, 2012, they can be used for qualified equipment that was installed any time after December 31, 2011. Qualified equipment includes:

Water Heaters ($300 Tax Credit)
-Electric heat pump water heaters with an energy factor of at least 2.0 
-Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater with an energy factor of at least 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent
Furnaces ($150 Tax Credit)
-Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace with an AFUE of not less than 95
Boilers ($150 Tax Credit)
-Natural gas, propane, or oil boiler with an AFUE of not less than 95
Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps ($300 Tax Credit)
-Split system central air conditioner that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of January 1, 2009 (16 SEER; 13 EER)
-Packaged central air conditioner that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of January 1, 2009 (14 SEER; 12 EER)
-Split system electric heat pump that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of January 1, 2009 (8.5 HSPF; 12.5 EER; 15 SEER)
-Packaged electric heat pump that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of January 1, 2009 (8.0 HSPF; 12.0 EER; 14 SEER)
Advanced Main Air Circulating Fan ($50 Tax Credit)

-A fan used in a natural gas, propane, or oil furnace with an annual electricity use of no more than 2 percent of the total energy use of the furnace

Further details are available here. Contact: Cade Clark.

DOE Publishes Final Rule Extending Certification Deadline
On December 26, the Department of Energy (DOE) published its final rule regarding certification of commercial and industrial HVAC, refrigeration, ice making, and water heating equipment. Specifically, DOE extended the compliance date for the certification provisions for commercial refrigeration equipment; commercial heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment; and commercial water heating (WH) equipment to December 31, 2013. DOE also extended the certification date for automatic commercial ice makers to August 1, 2013. Lastly, DOE adopted a correction to the packaged terminal equipment standards table, which would impact standard-size packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps with a cooling capacity of 15,000 Btu/h. Contact: Karim Amrane.

Manufacturers Submit Comments on Harmonic Currents Standard
On December 12, 2012, a coalition of manufacturers represented by several trade associations, including AHRI, submitted comments to the Canadian Standards Association regarding IEEE 1836, 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.  Members of the coalition that contributed to the comments include the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), the Electro-Federation Canada (EFC), the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA),  the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and AHRI. The comments noted the lack of available data and questioned the Canadian utilities’ intent to develop a standard requiring mitigation and product testing without first conducting adequate research and justifying the need for such a standard.  AHRI has formed an ad-doc committee that will follow the issue and develop additional comments on the standard. Contact: Jon Lemmond.

DOE Issues Proposed Determination of Commercial and Industrial Compressors as Covered Equipment
On December 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a notice in the Federal Register proposing to determine that commercial and industrial compressors meet the criteria for equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The purpose of the notice is to solicit stakeholders’ input on whether these products need to be regulated.  If, after public comments, DOE issues a final determination of coverage, the agency will develop test procedures and energy efficiency standards for these compressors. 
DOE is seeking comments on the following issues: 
  1. Definition of compressors.
  2. Whether classifying compressors as covered equipment is necessary to improve the efficiency of electric motors and pumps and other certain industrial equipment to conserve the energy resources of the nation.   
  3. Availability or lack of availability of technologies for improving the energy efficiency of compressors.
AHRI will work with affected product sections to determine if comments are warranted prior to the January 30, 2013, deadline. Contact: Jon Lemmond. 

EPA Administrator Jackson Retires
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced her retirement from the agency on Thursday, December 27, 2012. Contact: Karim Amrane. 

ASHRAE Requests Comments by January 20
ASHRAE invites comments by January 20 to the following public review draft proposed standard and addenda, available on its Standards, Research & Technology/ Public Review Drafts web page. To obtain a paper copy of any Public Review Draft contact: Stephanie Reiniche at email:
  • 1st Public Review of BSR/ASHRAE Addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 161-2007, Air Quality within Commercial Aircraft. This proposed addendum adds pack burn to the definitions section; makes changes to Section 8.2 (ii) under “remedies;” renumbers Section A3 (Contaminants) as A4; and inserts new language into Section A3, ECS Cleaning Procedures.
  • 1st Public Review of BSR/ASHRAE Standard 41.10-2008R, Standard Methods for Volatile Refrigerant Mass Flow Measurement Using Flowmeters. This standard prescribes methods for refrigerant mass flow rate measurement using flowmeters.
  • 1st Public Review of BSR/ASHRAE Addendum to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2010,Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. This proposed addendum re-inserts the calculation procedures from Addendum into the standard. Addendumadded a definition for “prevailing mean outdoor temperature” to the adaptive model including calculation procedures.
Contact:  Michael Woodford.