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AHRI Update: March 2012
AHRI's newsletter brings you timely, concise policy information. You will receive the latest analysis on topics that most affect the HVACR, gas space heating, and water heating industries, as well as up-to-date information on current AHRI initiatives, standards development activities, certification program changes, and much more. If you are not receiving the newsletter, subscribe today.



MARCH 29, 2012

AHRTI Completes Research Project on Performance Standards for Walk-in Refrigerator and Freezer Systems
A recently completed research project, Performance Standards for Walk-in Refrigerator and Freezer Systems, by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) culminates an extensive investigation of walk-in cooler and freezer refrigeration load profiles and refrigeration system performance as a function of the ambient dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperatures surrounding the walk-in and its condensing unit.   The final report is available online here. Contact: Xudong Wang

AHRI Hosts Successful Policy Symposium
Last week, AHRI hosted its annual Public Policy Symposium at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. The two-day symposium featured speakers, panelists, and visits by media personalities, policy makers, Senators, and Congressmen.

The event began with political analyst Stuart Rothenberg providing insight into the Presidential race, key House and Senate contests, and the mood of the country as measured by polls. The day continued with panels focusing on energy policy, the future of federal regulatory actions, and the latest state and local initiatives affecting our industry. Panelists Chris Miller, Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Harry Reid; Michael Goo, Associate Administrator at EPA; and David Terry, Executive Director at the National Association of State Energy Officials, were just some of the high-level speakers on the first day.

The symposium’s second day, held exclusively on Capitol Hill, afforded AHRI participants the opportunity to hear from, and ask questions of, eight members of Congress, including Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Representatives Charlie Bass (R-NH), John Barrow (D-GA), Jim Cooper (D-TN), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Daniel Webster (R-FL), and Peter Welch (D-VT). AHRI Chairman Ajita Rajendra presented Senator Bingaman with AHRI’s Public Service Award for his dedication to energy efficiency and helping AHRI achieve its policy goals.

The event concluded with over 30 meetings with Senators, Congressmen, and Congressional staff by symposium participants.  Similar to last year’s inaugural event, AHRI scheduled congressional meetings for several attendees.  These  visits help educate Congress on the issues that most affect the HVACR and water heating industry, and they help policy makers understand the day-to-day struggles AHRI members must overcome to run a successful business and keep hundreds of thousands of workers employed.  AHRI continues to increase its footprint and influence on Capitol Hill thanks to the many committed members advocating the industry’s position with one unified voice. AHRI thanks all participants and looks forward to seeing even more attendees in 2013. Contact: Jennifer Silvi.

DOE Issues Supplemental NOPR for Commercial Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heating Equipment
The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNOPR) for the proposed rule on Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment: Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Commercial Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heating Equipment, the Department issued on January 17, 2012. In this supplemental notice, DOE is proposing to modify the definition of “computer room air conditioner” initially proposed in the January NOPR; to incorporate additional provisions to clarify the proposed test procedure provisions for commercial packaged air conditioning and heating equipment and variable refrigerant flow systems; and to include, with modification, certain provisions from AHRI’s operations manuals in its test procedures that would clarify the application of the DOE test procedures and harmonize DOE testing with the testing performed by industry. DOE has requested that comments on this SNOPR be submitted by April 2, 2012. AHRI will be requesting an extension of the comment period based on the number and significance of the changes proposed in the SNOPR. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Awaits Action on Shaheen-Portman Bill
After months of negotiations, AHRI, along with a coalition of manufacturers, code developing bodies, and affected associations, led an effort to forge a consensus with environmental groups on changes to the Department of Energy (DOE) backstop provision contained in S.1000, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.  As originally written, the bill would have provided DOE with the authority to create a national building code if it determined ASHRAE 90.1 or the IECC did not meet specified national energy saving targets.  In the new agreed-upon language, DOE would still set energy targets, and make a determination on whether the ASHRAE and ICC codes reach them, but would not have the authority to issue its own national model building code.  Under S.1000, states that wish to be considered for federal support – related to adoption of the model building code – would still be required to certify that their updated codes met, or exceeded, the energy savings in both the most current ASHRAE/ICC code (i.e. 90.1 or IECC) and the target established by DOE.  It is important to note that, under the bill, even if a state were to adopt building codes more stringent than the most recent 90.1 or IECC, standards for HVACR and water heating products could not exceed federal minimum standards levels due to federal preemption; therefore, they would not be subject to more stringent efficiency standards than those in place under federal law.

With summer around the corner and gas prices continuing to climb, it is possible that public concern about energy might force Congress to act. If S.1000 is the energy-related legislative vehicle in the Senate, the changes mentioned above and any other amendments would be addressed on the Senate floor. AHRI will continue to work with the sponsoring Senate offices and will keep AHRI members aware of any action on this and other energy-related legislation. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

Department of Energy General Counsel Timothy Lynch Participates in AHRI Executive Committee Meeting
DOE Acting General Counsel Timothy Lynch (center) addresses the AHRI Executive Committee. AHRI Chairman Ajita Rajendra of A.O. Smith is on the left, while AHRI General Counsel Joe Mattingly is on the right.
In light of a February 28, 2012, DOE subpoena requiring AHRI to produce certain test reports identifying products that might not meet applicable federal minimum efficiency standards, DOE Acting General Counsel Timothy Lynch met with the AHRI Executive Committee at its March 20 meeting to discuss that and other issues Lynch described DOE’s commitment to standards enforcement, the agency’s enforcement product certification regulations, and product testing activities.  

Executive Committee members engaged in a dialogue with Lynch and stressed the importance of AHRI’s certification programs to industry, consumers, and regulators. They also expressed the industry’s support for a continued constructive working relationship between DOE staff and AHRI to further the common objective of ensuring standards compliance. Committee members urged DOE to recognize that, in contrast to plug-in appliances, regulated equipment within AHRI’s scope is much more complex in design and function, and must be installed by trained technicians to satisfy specific application requirements.  

Lynch commented that DOE recognized the importance of AHRI’s certification programs, but at the same time suggested that AHRI consider further harmonizing its testing protocols with those of DOE. AHRI will continue the dialogue with the Department and will continue our advocacy effort to encourage policy makers to rely upon AHRI’s (and other industry’s) third party certification programs. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Issues Proposed Rule
On March 26, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice in the Federal Register proposing to amend its regulations governing imports of products covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) and regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Under this proposal, the CBP will refuse admission to the customs territory of the United States of federally covered products that the DOE or FTC has determined to be in violation of appropriate energy conservation or labeling standards.  The proposed rulemaking also establishes a procedure to allow the CBP to conditionally release noncompliant products to importers so that they could be brought into compliance.  The CBP will accept comments until May 25, 2012. Contact: Karim Amrane.

CEC Announces Public Hearings on Adoption of Building Energy Use Disclosure Program
The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently announced that it will hold two hearings to receive comments on the proposed 45-day language adopting regulations implementing a non-residential building energy use disclosure program in California. The proposed regulations require owners of non-residential buildings within California, in advance of a sale, lease, or financing of the building, to benchmark the building’s energy use using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Portfolio Manager system and to disclose statements of the building’s energy usage to potential buyers, lessees, and lenders.  The CEC will hold the first hearing before the Lead Commissioner on April 9, 2012.  A second hearing before the full Energy Commission is scheduled for May 9, 2012.  More information about the regulations is available here. Contact: Karim Amrane.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participant to its certification program (program in italics):
  • KD Navien America, Inc. – Residential Water Heaters (RWH)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

Technical Committee on Sound Meets in Arlington
The Technical Committee on Sound (TCoS) and its subcommittees met March 19-21 at AHRI’s headquarters in Arlington, Va., to discuss recent developments of the subcommittees and to continue the advancement of several sound standards.  

The AHRI Standard 1280 Subcommittee continued to review and develop proposed AHRI Standard 1280P, Sound Power Rating of Water Cooled Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Equipment.  The AHRI Standard 220 Subcommittee continued to review and edit revisions to AHRI Standard 220 – 2007, Reverberation Room Qualification and Testing Procedures for Determining Sound Power of HVAC Equipment, and hopes to have the standard finished and published by mid-2012. The 1140 Subcommittee finished revising AHRI Standard 1140-2006, Sound Quality Evaluation Procedures for Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment, and plans to have the standard published by mid-2012. Revisions to AHRI Standard 1120-2007, Acoustical Test Methods and Sound Power Rating Procedures for Transport Refrigeration Equipment, were also approved.

Several new subcommittees will begin work in the next few months. AHRI Standard 270-2008, Sound Rating of Outdoor Unitary Equipment; AHRI Standard 300-2008, Sound Rating and Sound Transmission Loss of Packaged Terminal Equipment; and AHRI Standard 350-2008, Sound Rating of Non-Ducted Indoor Air Conditioning Equipment, will be revised concurrently by the 270/300/350 Subcommittee. Contact: Danny Abbate

Public Review of Addenda to ASHRAE Standards 62.1-2010, 90.1-2010, and 189.1-2011
ASHRAE has invited comments on the following addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE Standards:
  • 62.1-2010, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality;
  • 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings; and
  • 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
The draft addenda can be accessed here. Details on the addenda and comment deadlines are available here. Contact: Mike Woodford.

AHRI Joins Coalition Urging Opposition to International Building Code Proposal
AHRI joined with a coalition of several standards and code bodies urging the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to reject an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) survey intended to determine if ISO should develop international building codes. ISO Technical Advisory Group 8 has been reviewing existing national and regional building code standards and is charged with recommending “next steps” to ISO’s Technical Management Board (TMB). The coalition urged ANSI to point out that such an effort by ISO would be duplicative, and would provide an additional and confusing layer of technical requirements to be considered by governments that already have codes in place suited to their domestic climatic and social framework.

The coalition also urged that ISO consider the body of work it represents, including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the International Code Council (ICC), the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), ASTM International, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE),the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the Engineered Wood Association (APA), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Contact: Jim Walters.


MARCH 22, 2012

Spring Meeting Registration Now Open
AHRI members are invited to register for the 2012 Spring Meeting, to be held May 9-11, 2012, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va. The AHRI Spring Meeting is the place to reconnect with industry colleagues and hear about the latest issues affecting the industry.  Most of AHRI’s product sections will meet to discuss product-specific standards, certification, communications, statistics, and policy issues; and AHRI staff will again present the Need-to-Know session, alerting members to developments on issues relevant to our members and the industry. View the full schedule hereRegister now for the AHRI 2012 Spring Meeting. Contact: Brittany Buchanan.

New AHRI Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome new member company Hitachi America, Ltd., of Tarrytown, N.Y., which is participating in the Compressors and Condensing Units and Ductless Equipment sections. Contact: Emma Keiswetter.

AHRI to Meet with California Public Utility Commission
AHRI members and staff will meet on April 10 with Michael Colvin, Chief Energy Advisor to Commissioner Mark Ferron of the California Public Utility Commission. In addition to being a member of California’s GHG Team, Colvin has spent the past three years in the Policy and Planning Division at the Commission working on electric energy storage, combined heat and power issues, and the nexus of water and energy.

To maximize time spent in California, AHRI is pursuing opportunities to meet with additional state policymakers. AHRI staff will provide a summary of the meetings. Contact: Cade Clark.

EPA Issues Third Draft of Revised ENERGY STAR Residential Water Heater Specification
On March 19, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Draft 3 Version 2.0 specifications for the ENERGY STAR Program for residential water heaters. This document revises the second draft that was issued by EPA in November 2011, based on comments received and subsequent discussions with stakeholders.  The Draft 3 version includes changes to delete proposed criteria for point-of-use electric water heaters and add-on heat pump units, and also to add proposed criteria for gas hybrid water heaters, which are outside the scope of the Department of Energy residential water heater efficiency test procedure.  The effective date proposed for this draft is February 1, 2013.

EPA will host a webinar on April 5 from 1-3 p.m. EDT to discuss the Draft 3 specification. Comments must be submitted to waterheaters@energystar.gov by April 16, 2012. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

California Energy Commission Issues Order Instituting Rulemaking Proceeding
The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently announced that it will institute a rulemaking to consider amendments to its Appliance Efficiency Regulations, Title 20.  The rulemaking will proceed in three phases and will cover a variety of products, including refrigeration condensing units.  The rulemaking on those units is expected to start in the second quarter of 2014, with the goal of establishing minimum energy efficiency standards.  AHRI will work with members of its compressor and condensing units section to develop an industry position.  Contact:  Karim Amrane.

Federal Trade Commission Issues Proposed Rule on Appliance Labeling
On March 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a notice in the Federal Register proposing amendments to the Appliance Labeling Rule.  Of interest to AHRI members is a proposal to harmonize existing FTC and Department of Energy (DOE) regulations by streamlining the reporting burden in three ways:  First manufacturers will be allowed to meet FTC reporting requirements by submitting their certification reports to DOE’s Compliance and Certification Management System (CCMS) database.  Second, the FTC proposes to require the same report content as DOE.  Third, the FTC proposes to clarify the DOE testing requirements that manufacturers must use to determine energy information on the FTC labels.  FTC is also seeking input on whether it should require manufacturers to place QR (“Quick Response”) codes on the EnergyGuide labels to enable consumers to connect instantly to government websites or other sources providing detailed product information.  Finally, the FTC is proposing to allow the ENERGY STAR logo on heating and cooling equipment to be wider than one inch.  The agency will accept comments until May 2, 2012.  Contact:  Karim Amrane.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Style Crest, Inc. – Residential Furnaces (RFRN)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

Public Review of Addenda to ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010
ASHRAE has invited comments on the following addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

Comments are due on addenda a, o, and q by April 22, 2012.
  • Addendum a: This proposed addendum removes Method A of ASTM E1554 as an option for the duct tightness testing in the new proposed Section A4.1.
  • Addendum o:  This proposed change clarifies that a system must be operated in order to achieve the stated purpose of the standard to define minimum requirements for acceptable indoor air quality.  This proposed change makes it clear that the override control is modifying or suspending normal operation.
  • Addendum q:  This proposed change is needed to clarify that the whole building ventilation rate can be credited towards the local exhaust rate, and that the rates are not required to be additive.
Comments are due on addenda p and r by May 7, 2012.
  • Addendum p:  This proposed change in the language in 6.4.1 prevents the standard from being perceived as requiring full updating to code in order to comply, including possible replacement of all combustion appliances. The addition of the Performance Approach to 6.4.2 allows for demonstrated combustion safety.
  • Addendum r:  This proposed addendum removes any credit for assumed infiltration. It does not change the overall target ventilation rate, and credit for measured infiltration is still allowed. The effect of this change is to ensure that each home will have the required minimum ventilation rate regardless of airtightness.
The draft addenda can be accessed by going to ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/Public Review Drafts web page and following the instructions to access the online comment database. Contact: Mike Woodford.

Call for Members for ASHRAE SSPC 189.1 Standard Committee
A Call for Members has been announced for the ASHRAE SSPC 189.1, Standard for the Design of High- Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, Standards Committee. This call is directed toward individuals who have expertise in one or more of the following areas:
  • Site sustainability;
  • Builders/contractors;
  • Acoustics and noise control;
  • Facilities management/O&M;
  • Nexus of water and energy use; and
  • Materials and resources.
If you are interested in serving on this ASHRAE committee, please click here. Contact: Mike Woodford

AHRI Shares Certification Best Practices
At the request of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, several AHRI staff met with representatives of the national laboratory, the China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) to review the AHRI certification program, AHRI’s relationship with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, AHRI refrigerant-related research, and equipment labeling in the U.S and China. Laboratory staff will use information from the meeting, meetings with other associations, and governmental officials to produce a study benchmarking labeling practices. Contact: Jim Walters.


MARCH 15, 2012

Register Now for the AHRI Spring Meeting
AHRI members are invited to register for the 2012 Spring Meeting, to be held May 9-11, 2012, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va. The AHRI Spring Meeting is the place to reconnect with industry colleagues and hear about the latest issues affecting the industry.  Most of AHRI’s product sections will meet to discuss product-specific standards, certification, communications, statistics, and policy issues; and AHRI staff will again present the Need-to-Know session, alerting members to developments on issues relevant to our members and the industry. View the full schedule here.

Register now for the AHRI 2012 Spring Meeting! Contact: Brittany Buchanan.

DOE Establishes Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee
On March 8, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it will establish a committee to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Energy on matters concerning test procedures and the rulemaking process for DOE’s Appliances and Commercial Equipment Standards Program.  The Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) will provide advice and make recommendations on the (1) development of minimum efficiency standards, (2) product test procedures, (3) certification and enforcement of standards, (4) labeling of products, and (5) specific issues of concern to DOE.  The notice also requests nominations for members to serve on the committee.  DOE will accept nominations until April 2, 2012.  Contact: Karim Amrane.

DOE Announces Funding Opportunity
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced a funding opportunity for Energy Savings through Improved Mechanical Systems and Building Envelope Technologies. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA No.: DE-FOA-0000621) is intended to support prototyping and optimization of proposed technologies for which proof-of-concept scientific demonstration already exists. The FOA seeks innovative applications in two high impact areas: Energy Saving Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems; and Energy Saving Building Envelope Solutions. There are three specified subtopics within each area. The detailed information, requirements, and application deadlines are available here. Contact: Xudong Wang.

AHRI Establishes Indoor Pool Dehumidifiers Certification Program
An AHRI Indoor Pool Dehumidifiers (IPD) Certification Program has been established and is actively seeking new participants to begin the application process. The program applies to all OEM and PBM production models of residential, commercial, and industrial IPDs rated below a moisture removal capacity (MRC) of 25.0 kg/h at Standard Rating Conditions per Table 2 of AHRI Standard 910. If you have any questions or have an interest in participating, please contact AHRI Regulatory Engineer Danny Abbate at dabbate@ahrinet.org, or by calling 703-600-0327.

Public Review of ASHRAE Humidifiers Standard
ASHRAE has invited comments on the 1st Public Review of BSR/ASHRAE Standard 164.1-2008R, Method of Test for Residential Central-System Humidifiers. Comments are due by April 23. The proposed changes are in 5.2, 6.2.1.1. 6.2.1.2, and 6.2.2.  In addition, Figure 5 has been revised; a note was added to Section 7.2.1.4; and updates were made to the references. To obtain a paper copy of any Public Review Draft contact: ASHRAE, Inc. Attn: Standards Public Review, 1791 Tullie Circle, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329-2305, or email standards.section@ashrae.org. Contact: Mike Woodford.

ASHRAE Building Labeling Program Available
A new building labeling program is available from ASHRAE that not only rates buildings according to their in-operation energy use but also provides owners with suggested measures that can improve energy efficiency.  The Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program assigns to buildings an energy usage quotient based on completion of an in-operation assessment that includes an ASHRAE Level I Energy Audit.
 
To meet bEQ’s requirements, the assessment must be performed by an ASHRAE-Certified Building Energy Assessment Professional.  Building energy use disclosure is already mandatory in the states of Washington and California; in Washington, D.C.; in Austin, Texas; and in the European Union and Australia. For more information, visit www.buildingenergyquotient.com. Contact: Mike Woodford.

IEC Subcommittee 61D Meets to Discuss Flammable Refrigerants
The International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) Technical Committee 61/Subcommittee 61D Working Group 9 met March 8-9, in Bruges, Belgium to discuss proposals regarding the use of flammable refrigerants in air conditioning and heating equipment. Bill Hansen of Ingersoll Rand attended the meeting with AHRI consultant Mark Hinkleman, who represented the United States National Committee (USNC) to IEC SC 61D and presented a proposal for ducted air conditioning and heating equipment.

AHRI supports the USNC in this endeavor to identify safe refrigerants for use with air conditioning and heating equipment that adhere to all pertinent regulations, both in the United States and abroad. Contact: Mike Woodford.

RAMA Elects New President
B Thiagarajan, President, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Products Group, Blue Star Limited, was recently named President of the Refrigeration and Airconditioning Manufacturers' Association (RAMA) of India. Thiagarajan shared several important initiatives that RAMA will pursue during his tenure, including working closely with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency to take the Energy Labeling Program to its next phase of implementation, and establishing testing standards for various air conditioning equipment in close collaboration with the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE). Contact: Jim Walters.

AHRI, Korea Meet on AHRI Certification
AHRI staff and representatives of the Korea Refrigeration & Air-conditioning Assessment Center (KRAAC) met March 5-9 at AHRI headquarters.  KRAAC, with whom AHRI has had an agreement of cooperation since 2004, sent representatives to meet with AHRI Certification Vice President Bill Tritsis and other staff to better understand the certification process. KRAAC has been charged by the Korean government with assisting Korea’s small- and medium-sized enterprises that are interested in obtaining AHRI certification for heat exchangers, air-handling units, coils, and heat pumps.

KRAAC is a non-profit organization engaged in testing and accreditation service for the HVACR industry and the public in Korea, and offers services in:  Testing and Accreditation, Education, Research, Standards Development, and Verification Technical Information Exchange.  Mr. Woo, KRAAC’s Executive Director (pictured above, right, with AHRI Vice President of International Affairs Jim Walters), joined the meeting to discuss updating the AHRI/KRAAC agreement, KRAAC’s HVACR testing facilities, and future symposia on certification in Korea. Contact: Jim Walters.

Agreement Provides AHRI Members Access to Export Assistance
AHRI and the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) of the U.S. Department of Commerce signed an agreement on March 12 that will allow AHRI members interested in initiating or increasing the export of their product to access US&FCS assistance through a portal on the agency’s website. The US&FCS is promoting this approach to manufacturing associations as part of an effort to further the U.S. National Export Initiative.  

AHRI signed the agreement to provide its members with a virtual, easy, one-step process to directly contact the US&FCS. When the portal becomes operational in April, AHRI members will be able to use it to get expert advice from the US&FCS on new export markets; to access free on-line market research reports; to find opportunities for export training access to the US&FCS's worldwide network; and to find local contacts and market intelligence from specialists in targeted markets. AHRI will notify its members when the portal is ready to be launched, and provide specific access information. Contact: Shelley Pursell.


MARCH 8, 2012

AHRI Reports Data for ENERGY STAR Products on Behalf of Member Companies
AHRI recently submitted unit shipment data on behalf of its member companies for ENERGY STAR qualified products shipped in 2011. As in previous years, AHRI aggregated the data for masked submission to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the following six ENERGY STAR programs: boilers, residential central air conditioners and air-source heat pumps, furnaces, light commercial HVAC, water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps. Nearly 80 member companies took advantage of this AHRI member benefit, allowing them to avoid reporting unit shipment data directly to EPA contractor ICF. AHRI plans to add additional product sections to this program next year. Contact: Shannon Michael. 

AHRI’s Warren Lupson Honored with ACCA’s Distinguished Service Award
The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) awarded Warren Lupson, AHRI Director of Education, with the Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of his work on numerous committees, including the Technical Services Committee; the Code Committee; and the Joint Futures Committee. While working on these committees he shares many perspectives as an HVACR business consultant/owner, an AHRI representative, and as an educator.
 
Lupson was recognized at ACCA’s 44th Annual Conference and Indoor Air Expo, held this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. ACCA’s Distinguished Service Award is presented occasionally to an outstanding volunteer contributor to the association. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

DOE Clarifies Date of Manufacture Definition for Field-assembled Boilers
A March 2, 2012, email from the Department of Energy (DOE) clarified its definition of the term “Date of Manufacture” as it relates to field-assembled residential and commercial boilers.  The DOE email was in response to a January 24, 2012, letter from AHRI suggesting that the date of manufacture be determined based on the date of manufacture of the primary heat exchanger.

While DOE did not use AHRI’s exact definition, agency representatives agreed to a clarification of its current definition:  “If the dates the parts are completed and ready for distribution in commerce vary, the commercial boiler is not ‘manufactured’ until the date the last component has been completed and is ready for distribution in commerce.”

This response will also be placed in the DOE online guidance database.  Contact: Frank Stanonik.

EPA Delays Implementation of New XML Web Services Submission Process
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the testing period to May 3, 2012, for its new XML-based web service for submitting information on products certified to the following specifications: Geothermal Heat Pumps V3.1 Tier 3; and Central Air Conditioners and Air Source Heat Pumps V4.1 Tier 2. EPA plans on transitioning to the new XML system for the other products through this summer. As an ENERGY STAR certification body, AHRI is working internally to develop this new reporting software, which will simplify the process for AHRI members when it is implemented. Contact: Maryline Rassi.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Fujitsu General America Inc. – Variable Refrigerant Flow Multi-Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump Equipment (VRF)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

Direct Heating and Vent-Free Gas Product Alliance Sections Discuss ENERGY STAR Program Development
On February 29, AHRI’s Direct Heating and Vent-Free Gas Products Alliance Sections held a joint meeting in conjunction with the Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. During the meeting the sections discussed details for the development of an ENERGY STAR program for gas-fired space heating equipment and also voted not to include space heating equipment in the next revision of AHRI Standards 1270 (I-P) and 1271 (SI), Requirements for Seismic Qualification of HVACR Equipment. The Sections agreed to meet again during AHRI’s Annual Meeting in November at the La Quinta Resort and Spa, La Quinta, California. Contact: Dave Delaquila.

AHRI Participates in 20th Annual Meeting of CANENA
AHRI participated in the 20th Annual Meeting of CANENA (Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations in the Americas), held in Mexico City, February 29-March 1.  The 2012 CANENA program focused on the status of the developing electro-technical standardization infrastructure in Mexico. It also featured a keynote address on standards infrastructure in Mexico from Sr. Hugo Gomez, President of CANAME; a forum on national electrical codes in the region; and the latest information on national, regional, and international implementation of energy efficiency standards and regulations.
 
AHRI remains actively engaged in the development of a number of tri-national CANENA standards for AHRI products.  Participating in the meeting for AHRI were Bill Hansen of Ingersoll Rand, who also serves as CANENA Country Vice President, and Michael Woodford, AHRI Vice President, Standards. Contact: Mike Woodford.

Witnesses Testify on Consensus-Based Standards at House Hearing
The House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation held a hearing February 29 to examine the principles of effective domestic and international standards development processes. Witnesses discussed how to better promote these principles internationally and how standards can sometimes be used as technical barriers to trade.
 
“Standards play a critical role in both the domestic and international economies,” said Subcommittee Chairman Ben Quayle (R-AZ). “Along with providing market certainty to producers and consumers, the process by which standards are developed is also crucial to competitiveness and innovation.”  Quayle continued, stating that a market-driven, voluntary consensus approach to standards development “has proven to be effective because it allows relevant stakeholders, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to contribute in the development process, ensuring the final standards have broad market relevance.”

Among those testifying at the hearing were Joe Bhatia, President and CEO of the American National Standards Institute; and Mary Saunders, Director of the Standards Coordination office of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Contact: Mike Woodford.

AHRI Attends and Exhibits at ACREX Show in India
The 13th annual ACREX India show was held in Bangalore February 23-25. AHRI exhibited at the show, which was organized by the Indian Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE). The theme of the show was “For a Greener Tomorrow,” and many AHRI members and certification program participants exhibited their products, highlighting the significance of the booming Indian market. AHRI met with representatives from several local manufacturers who participate in the AHRI certification programs, particularly in the air-cooling and air-heating coils programs. As one participant put it, “For a coil manufacturer in India, participation in the AHRI certification program is a must.”  

AHRI also met with the Director of the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to discuss that organization’s effort to establish Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). Staff also met with the Indian manufacturer’s association RAMA and with ISHRAE on their efforts to develop Indian HVAC equipment standards based on a tripartite agreement with AHRI.

AHRI recently signed a global partner agreement with ISHRAE, and agreed to be a sponsor of future ACREX shows. ISHRAE requested that AHRI present the VRF standard and certification program at next year’s show in Mumbai. Contact: Bill Tritsis.


MARCH 1, 2012

HVACR & Mechanical Conference for Education Professionals
The AHRI co-sponsored HVACR & Mechanical Conference for Education Professionals is held each year to provide instructors, industry trainers, and administrators with cutting-edge technical information and teaching techniques. The program is aimed at helping instructors effectively train the next generation of skilled workers in the HVACR and plumbing industries. The new website for the program contains important conference details, as well as information on accredited educational institutions and past program presentations and resources. Contact: Warren Lupson.

NRCan to Host Special Sessions at CMX-CIPHEX 2012
Natural Resources Canada, or NRCan, will host several sessions of interest to AHRI members at the CMX-CIPHEX trade show and learning forum, March 22-24 in Toronto, Ontario. Sessions include workshops on combination space/water heating systems and highly efficient water heating, and a session on upcoming Canadian regulations for water heaters and boilers. View detailed program information here. Visit AHRI at booth 2416. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

AHRI Promotes Certification at Orlando Pool & Spa Show
AHRI exhibited at the Orlando Pool & Spa Show, February 24-25, to promote its certification program for Heat Pump Pool and Spa Heaters. During the show, AHRI staff educated pool and spa dealers on the certification program and the merits of requesting AHRI Certified products. Several program participants exhibited at the show as well, and AHRI highlighted those companies at its own booth (left). Contact: Maryline Rassi

AHRI Participates in Meeting to Revise NAHB Green Building Standard
AHRI participated in the National Association of Home Builders’ Green Building Standard Consensus Committee meeting on February 22-24. The meeting was held to act on the comments received during the public review of the draft revised 2012 National Green Building Standard (NGBS); however, AHRI’s comment to recognize the installation of gas-fired vent free heaters and fireplaces in homes complying with the NGBS was not accepted. Portions of the draft revised NGBS that were substantially revised in response to comments will be reissued for public review. The revised standard is expected to be finalized by the end of the year.  Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Submits Comments on ENERGY STAR Guiding Principles
On January 25, Ann Bailey of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice announcing that the EPA is updating the principles that guide its ENERGY STAR program. Bailey specifically invited stakeholders to provide comments or questions regarding the document, Energy Star Products Program Strategic Vision and Guiding Principles.  On February 22, AHRI submitted comments questioning EPA’s imposition of additional product certification testing requirements in view of the fact that the guiding principles document acknowledges the Department of Energy as the lead agency on product testing procedures and verification testing.  The comments also noted additional inconsistencies between the guiding principles and actual practices of specific Energy Star programs. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

CEC Issues Proposed 2013 Building Energy Standards
On February 24, the California Energy Commission (CEC) issued the proposed 2013 edition of its Title 24, Building Energy Efficiency Standards.  A public hearing on this document will be held in Sacramento on March 12-13, and March 15 (if needed).The comment period will end on April 11. The CEC also has scheduled the adoption hearing for the 2013 Title 24 standard for April 11.  The proposed 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards include changes affecting various AHRI covered products. Additional information will be provided by AHRI staff to the appropriate product sections to help in developing comments. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

CEC Holds Public Meeting on Enforcement
The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently announced that it will institute a rulemaking to implement the provisions of California Senate Bill (SB) 454 and to establish an administrative enforcement process for the commission’s Appliance Efficiency Regulations Title 20. The rulemaking will specifically focus on provisions of SB 454 that authorize the CEC to establish an administrative process for a violation of the energy efficiency standards contained in sections 1601 through 1608 of the Commission’s Appliance Efficiency Regulations, Title 20. A public meeting has been scheduled for March 23 to solicit input from interested stakeholders.  More information is available here. Contact: Karim Amrane.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • YMGI Group LLC – Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC) and Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps (PTHP)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

ASHRAE Requests Comments on Commercial Water Heating Equipment Standard
Constructive comments are invited on the first public review of BSR/ASHRAE Standard 118.1-2008R, Method of Testing for Rating Commercial Gas, Electric and Oil Service Water Heating Equipment. Comments are due by April 24, 2012. View the draft here, or email: standards.section@ashrae.org. This revision updates the references; revises the definitions of Type IV and Type V equipment; revises the test methods and performance calculations for all heat pump water heaters; adds appendix B4 to include heat transfer calculations for direct geoexchange and water source heat pump water heaters; and adds appendix B5 to establish test conditions for all heat pump water heaters. Contact: Mike Woodford.

AHRI Global Certification Task Force Inaugural Meeting
The AHRI Global Certification Task Force met at AHRI on February 27, 2012. Chaired by Keith Coursin (Desert Aire), the group is charged by the Strategic Planning Committee with guiding future global activities of the AHRI Certification Program. Contact: Jim Walters.