AHRI Update: May 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.

MAY 31, 2012

Hydronics Institute Section Holds Spring Meeting
More than 70 members of the Hydronics Institute Section met at the section’s Spring Meeting, May 15-17, at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in New Jersey.  In addition to the Hydronics Institute and Burner Section meetings, the Technical Committee, Public Relations Committee, and Indirect Water Heater subsection met over the course of the meeting. Contact: David Delaquila.

AHRI Staff Visits M&G DuraVent
AHRI Chief Technical Advisor Frank Stanonik visited M&G DuraVent, a member of the Venting Products Section, on May 23, in Vacaville, California.  He met with Brooks Sherman, Tim Rothgeb, and Matthew Bertler to provide them with an overview of AHRI’s structure and services. In turn, they provided an overview of their company. They also discussed the activities of the Venting Products Section and the changes occurring in venting systems for gas-fired equipment.  Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Welcomes Chris Reddersen
Chris Reddersen, a recent Virginia Tech graduate, joined AHRI as an Associate Certification Engineer. Chris, who holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering, has interned with AHRI since August 2008. In his new position, Chris will manage Chillers verifications, air handling units (AHU) and air cooling and air heating coils (ACHC) selections, and software maintenance for AHU and ACHC. Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram

AHRI Joins HVACR Workforce Development Foundation to Elevate Industry, Attract New Players
AHRI is one of eight heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and water heating industry associations that comprise the newly-formed HVACR Workforce Development Foundation. The Foundation will work to raise awareness of the industry, attract new members to the workforce, and enhance the quality of the available workforce in the industry.

The Foundation will market to the industry, to federal and state education and labor departments, and to career and technical education programs. It will also educate secondary school principals, counselors, and teachers of the career prospects in the HVACR industry. In addition to AHRI, members include the Air Conditioning Contractors of America; the Air Movement and Control Association; ASHRAE; Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International; the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada; the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Contractors Association; and the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

DOE Publishes Proposed Rule on AEDM
On May 31, 2012, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) on the alternative efficiency determination method (AEDM).  AEDMs are computer modeling or mathematical tools derived from mathematical models and engineering principles that could predict the energy performance of a covered product.  Under existing regulations, the use of an AEDM is allowed in lieu of actual product testing.  The proposed rule is in response to the request for information that DOE issued a year ago to solicit stakeholders’ input on how the Department should expand and revise its existing AEDM requirements for consumer and commercial industrial equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act.  As shown in this summary, the NOPR proposes to expand the use of AEDMs to commercial refrigeration products, commercial ice makers, and walk-in coolers and freezers (limited to the refrigeration system only).  DOE has also relaxed the AEDM tolerances and has revised the AEDM validation and substantiation requirements to reduce the testing burden on manufacturers.  DOE is accepting comments until July 2, 2012 and has scheduled a public meeting on June 5, 2012, in Washington D.C., to receive input from stakeholders on the proposed rule.  AHRI staff will be working with impacted product sections to develop an industry position.  Contact: Karim Amrane.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE has issued a call for comments for the following Public Review Drafts. Public Review Drafts can be accessed here.

Comments are due July 2, 2012, on the following ASHRAE standard revisions:
  • ASHRAE Guideline 22-2008R, Instrumentation for Monitoring Central Chilled-Water Plant Efficiency. This guideline defines recommended methods for measuring chilled-water plant thermal load and energy use and for calculating chilled-water plant efficiency.
  • Guideline 26-2008R, Guideline for Field Testing of General Ventilation Filtration Devices and Systems for Removal Efficiency In-Situ by Particle Size and Resistance to Flow. This guideline describes a procedure for measuring the performance of general ventilation air-cleaning devices in an end-use installed configuration.
  • Standard 86-1994R, Methods of Testing the Floc Point of Refrigeration Grade Oils. This standard describes a standard test method for measuring the floc point (waxing tendency) of refrigeration grade oils.
Comments are due June 23, 2012, on the following proposed ASHRAE addendum:
  • 1st Public Review of BSR/ASHRAE/IES Addendum af to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This addendum covers the addition of a flow turndown requirement to the standard which will require the use of cooling towers capable of handling modulation of condenser water flow as a means to save energy.
Contact: Michael Woodford.

MAY 24, 2012

Exhibit Space at AHR Expos Filling Up Fast
AHR Expo Mexico, to be held September 25-27, 2012, in Monterrey, Mexico, is on pace to shatter previous records for square footage and attendance.  With four months remaining before the show, contracted space is already 10,000 sf above the previous record.  AHRI member companies who are thinking of exhibiting to customers in the gateway to Central and South America should move quickly to secure exhibit space.

Meanwhile, response of those wishing to exhibit at the 2013 AHR Expo, scheduled for January 28-30 at the Dallas Convention Center, has been overwhelming. To accommodate the increased demand, the International Exposition Company (IEC) has made available an additional exhibit hall, giving AHRI members a greater opportunity to reach customers in the burgeoning southwest U.S. market.  It has been six years since the AHR Expo was in the region so members will find an eager, ready-to-buy market waiting to see the latest HVACR and water heating innovations. Thousands of contractors, engineers, distributors, reps, facility managers, OEMs, and other HVACR professionals from all over the world will be in Dallas to see the latest products on the market.

See the 2013 AHR Expo Dallas Floor Plan, or call (203) 221-9232 or e-mail IEC staff at to reserve exhibit space. Contact: Francis Dietz.

New AHRI Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome new member company Ametek Precision Motion Control, a member of the Hydronics Institute Section. Contact: Freshta Rosario.

Joint Expo Policy Committee Meets in Atlanta to Discuss Show Improvements
Representatives from the three main sponsors of the AHR Expo and AHR Expo Mexico – AHRI, ASHRAE, and the International Exposition Company (IEC) – gathered at ASHRAE Headquarters in Atlanta last week to discuss the status of the upcoming AHR Expo Mexico in Monterrey, and the AHR Expo in Dallas, as well as ongoing show improvements and ways to increase attendance and enhance attendees’ experience at the show.  

The group discussed the possibility of holding an event for professionals from related associations to attract them to the show; more actively engaging ASHRAE chapters in show cities and regions, including those in Mexico and Central America; and meeting with associations such as the American Institute of Architects and the Building Operating and Management Association to ensure they are aware of the potential benefit of the show for their members.

Show management also reported that Chicago, which hosts the Expo every three years, has instituted labor reforms that allow exhibitors to set up their own booths, reduce mandatory labor crews from three workers to two, and reduce labor rates. Contact: Francis Dietz.

AHRI Calendar
Please mark your calendars for the following upcoming AHRI meetings and events:

Congressional Reception August 8   Washington, D.C.
Executive Cmte  October 11  Arlington, Va.
Board of Directors November 11
Palm Springs, Calif.
Nominating Cmte   November 10 Palm Springs, Calif.
Rees Scholarship Found. November 10 Palm Springs, Calif.
Strategic Planning Cmte November 10 Palm Springs, Calif.
Annual Meeting November 11-13 Palm Springs, Calif.
AHR Expo January 28-30 Dallas, Texas
HVACR Instructor Workshop March 11-13 Colorado Springs, Colo.
Public Policy Symposium March 20-21 Washington, D.C.
Board of Directors May 7 Arlington, Va.
Nominating Cmte May 7 Arlington, Va.
Strategic Planning Cmte May 7 Arlington, Va.
Spring Meeting May 7-9 Arlington, Va.
Executive Cmte October Arlington, Va.
Rees Scholarship Found. November 15 Amelia Island, Fla.
Nominating Cmte November 16 Amelia Island, Fla.
Strategic Planning Cmte November 16 Amelia Island, Fla.
Board of Directors November 17 Amelia Island, Fla.
Annual Meeting November 17-19 Amelia Island, Fla.

AHRI and DOE Discuss Enforcement and Certification
As a part of AHRI’s ongoing effort to work with the Department of Energy (DOE) on its enforcement activities, AHRI staff met with officials in the DOE Offices of General Counsel and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy on May 18. Staff identified several AHRI priority issues, and overall, DOE staff were receptive to AHRI’s concerns and suggestions. Here are the results of the discussion:
  • Basic Model Group. DOE’s definition of a “basic model” does not recognize the “basic model groups” that AHRI uses in its certification program. Instead, DOE identifies basic models as product families with the same efficiency. Staff mentioned to DOE staff that this difference in definition would place an enormous burden on manufacturers because of the need to test numerous combinations of products. Accordingly, DOE staff informally indicated that they will consider revisiting the definition in the next certification, compliance, and enforcement rulemaking (tentatively scheduled to begin in 2013). DOE also mentioned that it wants more information on how AHRI envisions applying its basic model group concept to DOE’s certification, compliance, and enforcement rule. DOE staff made it clear that they consider product testing for certification quite differently than verification testing.
  • Testing Tolerances. DOE recognizes that there are differences between the AHRI and DOE test procedures with regard to tolerances (e.g., AHRI certification uses a 5 percent tolerance, and DOE doesn’t provide for one.) While DOE acknowledges that a 0 percent tolerance is not reasonable (unofficially it believes that 2 percent to 3 percent is more realistic), it believes that a 5 percent tolerance is too lenient (due to the precision of today’s testing equipment). Following recent enforcement and verification testing, DOE believes that many products are engineered with the 5 percent tolerance allowance in mind (i.e., to meet 95 percent of the federal minimum efficiency standard). DOE is soliciting the help of statisticians to examine current testing and to determine an appropriate tolerance. DOE noted however, that it employs a case-by-case or “reason to believe” standard when deciding to move forward with an enforcement action. That is to say, even if a product fails by more than the Department’s recommended tolerance, enforcement action will not necessarily be pursued unless there are other factors that arise. DOE staff mentioned that the purpose of the confidence limits with DOE’s certification testing sampling plan is to protect the consumer, whereas the confidence limits specified within DOE’s enforcement testing sampling plan are more favorable for manufacturers.
  • Break-in Period. DOE acknowledged that current CFR language does not reference break-in time for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps prior to a test (break-in time for commercial products has been established). DOE staff mentioned that they are looking into including break-in time in the next rulemaking and asked AHRI to submit a letter to the rulemaking docket (i.e. on the record) with respect to the test procedures for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps.
  • Witness Testing. DOE allows limited manufacturer witness testing for VRF products, but does not allow it for other commercial equipment or residential products. DOE does not plan to change this policy.
  • Refrigerant Charge and Airflow Settings. DOE will use manufacturer settings as long as they are specified in the OEM I&O.
  • Discontinued Models. DOE agreed to adopt AHRI’s definition of discontinued models.
Contact: Karim Amrane

AHRI Discusses ENERGY STAR Issues with EPA
On May 17, AHRI staff met with Elizabeth Craig, Director of the Climate Protection Partnership Division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Also in attendance were Jean Lupinacci, Director of the Commercial and Industrial Branch; and Ann Bailey, Director of ENERGY STAR labeling. The main topics of discussion were ENERGY STAR verification testing, the role of certifying bodies such as AHRI, and the impact of the program on HVACR and water heating manufacturers. AHRI stressed the need to streamline the ENERGY STAR verification program to avoid duplication with the AHRI certification programs and to reduce the burden on manufacturers. The EPA acknowledged the critical role that AHRI plays as a certification body and offered to work with industry to better harmonize its ENERGY STAR verification program with AHRI’s independent certification programs. Contact: Karim Amrane

AHRI Participates at the ICC Code Development Hearings
The 2012/2013 code change proposals were reviewed and voted on at recent hearings held by the International Code Council (ICC) in Dallas Texas.  These hearings focused on Group A, which comprises the fuel gas (IFGC), mechanical (IMC), building (IBC), and plumbing (IPC) codes.  The energy conservation (IECC), residential (IRC), and fire (IFC) codes, which are part of Group B; and the green construction code (IGCC), which is part of Group C; will be handled in separate code hearings scheduled for next year.  

Over 1,500 proposals were debated and voted on in meetings attended by building and fire code officials from around the country.  AHRI submitted two code change proposals and followed 32 others that were previously identified by the AHRI Code Advisory Subcommittee as being of interest to the HVACR and water heating industry.  As shown in the summary report, these were very successful hearings for AHRI.  Of significant importance was the disapproval of a proposal that would have prohibited the installation of gas-fired vent free heaters within dwelling units.  In addition, a proposal supported by the AHRI chilled beam section was approved, which exempts evaporators and cooling coils designed to operate in sensible cooling from having a condensate drain system.  However, a proposal to adopt AHRI Standard 1270, Requirements For Seismic Qualification of HVACR Equipment, as a means to comply with the certification requirements for non structural components of the International Building Code (IBC) was disapproved without prejudice. Those in opposition recommended that the AHRI standard be processed through ASCE Standard 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, instead of the IBC.  AHRI received the commitment of several members of the ASCE 7 committee to assist in the process.  Public comments on the actions that were taken by the code development committees at the hearings are due on August 1, 2012.  The final action hearings will be held on October 24-28, 2012, in Portland, Oregon.  Contact: Karim Amrane.

Congressional Industry Awareness Event Set for August 8
TThe 2nd Annual HVACR Industry Awareness Event is set to take place August 8, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The reception in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer will provide Members of Congress and their staff the opportunity to meet and get to know AHRI members, as well as those from HARDI, ACCA, and NATE. More importantly, they will meet AHRI member manufacturers with facilities located in their respective Congressional districts. The reception will also provide a forum for AHRI to highlight the industry’s positive effect on the nation’s economy, and to brand AHRI’s role in certification and federal policy initiatives. Last year’s event was a great success, with over 350 attendees, and AHRI is looking forward to building upon that success by providing another extraordinary event. Contact: Phillip Wallace

AHRI Seeks Additional Guidance from Secretary Chu for Gas Furnace Manufacturers
AHRI sent a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu requesting specific, final guidance on some outstanding issues so that manufacturers can comply with the new non-weatherized gas furnace rule that is scheduled to take effect May 1, 2013. The letter requests that the guidance be issued by DOE no later than July 15, 2012, and states that AHRI will file a petition to delay the effective date of the rule if DOE is unable to do so. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI Participates in OMB Workshop on Federal Participation in Voluntary Consensus Standards
AHRI participated in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) workshop on Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities, held on May 15 at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The workshop consisted of moderator-facilitated panels of experts addressing whether or not OMB should consider supplementing the existing OMB Circular A-119.

In addition to remarks from Jeff Weiss, Associate Administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and Dr. Pat Gallagher, Director of NIST, the workshop included:
  • A Panel on Implementation – experts from federal agencies addressed experiences in the implementation of OMB Circular A-119.
  • A Panel on Incorporation by Reference (IBR) – public and private sector experts discussed challenges associated with referencing private sector standards in federal regulations.
  • Views from the Private Sector Panel – Industry and association experts presented case studies from their perspective on federal use of private sector standards and conformity assessment mechanisms.
AHRI submitted comments last month to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on how to supplement Circular A-119, Federal Participation in the Development and Use of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment Activities. Contact: Mike Woodford.

MAY 17, 2012

2012 Spring Meeting Featured Members-only Regulatory Compliance Session
AHRI welcomed more than 300 attendees to the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va., last week, for the 2012 Spring Meeting. Members participated in 23 product section meetings, and mingled at the Welcome Reception on Thursday evening. Kathleen Vokes and Abigail Daken from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave a presentation on ENERGY STAR verification, testing, enforcement requirements, and the role of certifying bodies such as AHRI, and AHRI staff presented up-to-the-minute information on the Department of Energy’s enforcement and regulatory compliance activities. Members also received a broad overview of association activities during the Need-to-Know session on Thursday morning. AHRI members may access meeting materials on the members-only website, at Contact: Monica Cardenas. Above: AHRI’s David Calabrese, Bill Tritsis, and Karim Amrane present a special members-only session.

AHRI Welcomes Justin Prosser
AHRI’s newest certification engineer, Justin Prosser, joined the certification team this month. Justin has over four years experience in the design of mechanical systems for over five million square feet of a variety of renovation, tenant improvement, and new construction projects; high rise residential and mixed-use projects; retail facilities; and government facilities in the D.C. metropolitan area.  He will manage the compliance committees for Air Control and Distribution Devices and Air Handling Units (AHU), the engineering compliance committee for AHU, and several certification programs. Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram

In Memoriam: John H. Reilly, Jr.
AHRI mourns the loss of a long-time active member of AHRI, John H. Reilly, Jr., Chairman and CEO of National Refrigeration Products.  John was a respected leader in the air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration industry, who over his career contributed greatly to the advancement of several sectors of our industry. John served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committees of ARI and AHRI from 1996 until 2010, providing valuable guidance, mentorship, and leadership.  John was a member and Chairman of the ARI Government Affairs Committee where he advocated for our industry being proactive in legislative and regulatory matters.  His vision helped pave the way for our current policy of engagement and proactive compromise as a way of ensuring predictability while doing our part for energy conservation and environmental stewardship.

In recognition of John’s commitment to the HVACR industry and his active promotion of careers in the industry, an anonymous donor made a $50,000 donation to the Rees Scholarship Foundation in John’s name.  This donation will go a long way in providing additional resources to attract and train individuals for careers in the HVACR industry. Contact: Amanda Miller.

AHRTI Completes Research Project on Thermal and Chemical Stability of Low GWP Refrigerants with Lubricants
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) recently completed a research project, Material Compatibility & Lubricants Research for Low GWP Refrigerants – Phase I: Thermal and Chemical Stability of Low GWP Refrigerants with Lubricants. Refrigerants HFO-1234yf, HFO-1234ze, and a mixture of HFO-1234yf blended with R-32 (50/50 by weight) were tested with two POE oils (a mixed acid and a branched acid POE), and one PVE oil. Using the fluoride ion concentrations after aging as indicators of refrigerant decomposition and Total Acid Numbers (TAN) as indicators of lubricant decomposition, the stabilities of the refrigerant/lubricant mixtures (when aged at 175°C for 14 days in sealed tubes) were compared; and results were summarized. The final report is available online here. Contact: Xudong Wang

House Introduces Essential Service-Over-the-Counter Legislation
On Thursday, May 10, the House introduced the Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations Act, or the BURR Act. The bill, H.R. 5710, was introduced by Reps. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) and Bruce Braley (D-IA), and is supported by nine additional cosponsors. It corrects language in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which contains numerous efficiency standards for AHRI member products, and establishes an appropriate federal standard for service-over-the-counter products.  These deli-style display cases were originally grouped under the same product category as commercial refrigeration, yet due to their special needs and constraints, could not meet the energy usage requirements for that equipment.  The BURR Act would correct this error and allow service-over-the-counter manufacturers to produce equipment with more appropriate federal efficiency standards.  The language in the bill is considered non-controversial and can also be found in AHRI’s consensus agreement legislation, S. 398 (INCAAA). AHRI fully supports H.R. 5710, and we urge our members to join us in pushing for its quick passage.  More information can be found here. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

DOE Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Residential Furnace Fans
On May 15, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) on test procedures for residential furnace fans. In this NOPR, DOE proposes the adoption of furnace efficiency rating (FER) – a new rating metric to measure the energy efficiency of a residential furnace fan.  It also proposes a scope of applicability that is broad enough to cover single-phase, electrically powered devices that circulate air through duct work in HVAC systems with heating input capacities less than 225,000 Btu per hour, cooling capacities less than 65,000 Btu per hour, and airflow capacities less than 3,000 cfm. The NOPR states that furnace fans include, but are not limited to, the air distribution fans used in weatherized and non-weatherized gas furnaces, oil furnaces, electric furnaces, modular blowers, and hydronic air handlers. DOE proposes to exclude any non-ducted products, such as whole-house ventilation systems without duct work, central air-conditioning condensing unit fans, room fans, and furnace draft inducer fans, because these products do not circulate air through duct work. The NOPR also states that standby mode and off mode energy use for weatherized and non-weatherized gas furnaces, oil furnaces, electric furnaces, and modular blowers have already been addressed in previous rulemakings; however, the NOPR does account for the standby mode and off mode energy consumption, in addition to the furnace fan energy use for hydronic air handlers.

DOE will hold a public meeting to discuss this NOPR on Friday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at its headquarters, the Forrestal Building, Room 8E–089, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. The public meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar.

DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this NOPR before and after the public meeting, but no later than July 30, 2012. AHRI staff will submit comments on this NOPR. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Submits Comments to Federal Trade Commission on its Appliance Labeling Proposed Rule
On March 15, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a notice in the Federal Register proposing amendments to the Appliance Labeling Rule. AHRI submitted comments to FTC on May 16, applauding FTC’s efforts to eliminate duplicative requirements by harmonizing the FTC and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reporting and testing rules. We also encouraged FTC to continue accepting data from AHRI on behalf of the manufacturers participating in its certification programs and requested that FTC consider including a reference to the AHRI Directory of Certified Product Performance in the EnergyGuide labels, so that consumers have access to useful information and can ensure that the correct equipment is installed in their region. In addition, our comments stated that the proposed requirements with respect to QR (“Quick Response”) codes, website information associated with the QR codes, and making the EnergyGuide label available on a publicly accessible website should be made optional by FTC, so that manufacturers are not unduly burdened by these provisions. The full text of the comments can be found here. Contact:  Aniruddh Roy.

DOE Issues Final Rule on Motor Test Procedures
On May 4, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a final rule adopting new federal test procedures to measure the energy efficiency of electric and small electric motors and clarifying the scope of regulatory coverage for these products.

The final rule also clarifies the codified definition of “small electric motor” and adds CSA C-747-09 and CSA C390-10 as alternative test procedures that manufacturers may use for measuring the energy efficiency of poly-phase small electric motors.  Finally, DOE opted to address the requirements of an Alternative Efficiency Determination Method (AEDM) in a separate rulemaking currently under development.  Effective October 31, 2012, any representation either in writing or in any broadcast advertisement with respect to energy efficiency or consumption must be made based on the revised DOE test procedures adopted in this rule. Contact: Mike Woodford.

CEC Publishes 15-day Language and Announces Adoption Hearing Date
On May 15, 2012, the California Energy Commission (CEC) announced that it will conduct a hearing on May 31, 2012, to adopt the proposed update to the Building Energy Efficiency Standards in the California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 6, associated administrative regulations in Part 1 (collectively also known as the California Energy Code), and portions of the Green Building Code, Part 11 (also known as CalGreen), of the California Building Code. The Energy Commission also will consider the proposed and supplemental Initial Study and Negative Declaration. The CEC has published modifications to the proposed Standards that were previously made available for public comment, and identified additional documents it will rely upon for adoption of these Standards. The modifications to the proposed Standards are known as the "15-Day Language" and are the proposed revisions to the California Energy Code and CalGreen that the Energy Commission will consider adopting. The following 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards Rulemaking documents are now available on CEC’s website:
  • Supplemental Initial Study/Proposed Negative Declaration
  • Proposed 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards
  • Proposed Reference Appendices
  • Proposed Residential Alternative Calculation Manual (ACM) Approval Method
  • Proposed Nonresidential Alternative Calculation Manual (ACM) Approval Method
  • Proposed Energy Provisions of the California Green Building Standards Code
  • 15-Day Documents and Reports Relied Upon
Contact:  Aniruddh Roy.

EPA Schedules Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool Training and Preview Opportunities
As part of its greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program, EPA is developing a web-based Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool, or e-GGRT, to electronically collect data from Subpart QQ, Imports and Exports of Equipment Pre-charged with Fluorinated GHGs or Containing Fluorinated GHGs in Closed-cell Foams.  In an effort to help manufacturers impacted by the reporting requirement become more familiar with the e-GGRT tool, EPA has scheduled a series of training sessions and will allow interested parties to preview the tool.  Of interest to HVAC manufacturers is the training session on Subpart QQ, scheduled for May 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm.  To register to the training session, please consult the EPA website at Contact: Karim Amrane.

EPA Transitions to XML-based Qualified Product Exchange System
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is completing the transition to the XML-based qualified product exchange (QPX) system for certification bodies (CBs), such as AHRI, to submit information on products certified as ENERGY STAR. The new XML submission service will make it easier for AHRI members to submit data for these products. Beginning on Monday, May 21, the new XML-based service for furnaces will go live, and AHRI will re-submit all models certified to furnaces V3.0 or V4.0 that were previously uploaded using the Excel updates. For future ENERGY STAR submissions, AHRI members will have to submit ENERGY STAR data through the AHRI Directory instead of using the Excel templates.

The timeline for the transition to XML-based web service templates for the following products is:
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps V3.1 Tier 3 on May 24, 2012
  • Boilers V2.1 on June 12, 2012
  • Light Commercial HVAC V2.2 on June 25, 2012
The transition for the other products is scheduled to occur before the end of the summer. Contact: Maryline Rassi.

AHRI Meets with ASHRAE Leadership
AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek and senior staff recently met with ASHRAE leadership at ASHRAE's Washington, D.C. office. These periodic meetings are intended to share information on key organizational initiatives and priorities, and to explore opportunities for increased collaboration.

Attending from ASHRAE were:
  • Ron Jarnagin, President
  • Tom Watson, President-Elect
  • Bill Bahnfleth, Treasurer
  • Jeff Littleton, Executive Vice President
  • Doug Read, Program Director of Government Affairs
  • Mark Ames, Federal Manager of Government Affairs
  • Mark Wills, State and Local Manager of Government Affairs
Meeting attendees discussed completion of a co-sponsorship agreement on Proposed Standard 155P and ISO TC86, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning international standards work. They also plan to sign next month in San Antonio the ASHRAE-AHRI updated agreement on standards development responsibilities. There was discussion on coordinating ASHRAE and AHRI position papers on refrigerants, and collaboration on advocating for passage of S. 1000, the Shaheen-Portman bill.  Contact: Mike Woodford.

ASHRAE Call for Members
ASHRAE has issued a call for members on the committees indicated below. Anyone interested in serving on these committees are asked to indicate their interest and obtain the necessary membership forms by contacting Stephanie Reiniche at (678) 539-1143 or
  • GPC 6, Refrigerant Information Recommended for Product Development and Standards
  • SPC 17, Method of Testing Capacity of Thermostatic Refrigerant Expansion Valves
  • SPC 29, Methods of Testing Automatic Ice Makers
  • SPC 210, Method of Testing for Rating Commercial Walk-in Refrigerators and Freezers
Contact: Mike Woodford.

ASHRAE Public Review Call for Comments
Comments are invited on the following ASHRAE public review documents. The documents can be accessed here.  
  • Addendum ae to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings – Due June 10, 2012. This proposal updates referenced standards for AHRI 210/240 and AHRI 550/590 in various provisions covering mechanical systems in 90.1-2010.
  • Addendum ak to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings – Due June 10, 2012. This proposed modification changes many of the hydronics requirements found in Section
  • Proposed Standard 194P, Method of Test for Direct-Expansion Ground Source Heat Pumps – Due July 10, 2012. The purpose of this standard is to provide test procedures for rating factory made residential, commercial, and industrial Direct-Expansion Ground Source Heat Pumps.
  • Revised Standard 100-2006R, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings – Due June 18, 2012. This revision of Standard 100-2006 provides greater guidance and a more comprehensive approach to the retrofit of existing buildings for increased energy efficiency. It provides requirements for the retrofit of existing buildings and addresses major and minor modifications for both residential and commercial buildings and single and multiple activity buildings with variable occupancy periods and it identifies the approach for 53 building type in 16 climate zones. It identifies requirements for buildings with energy targets and for buildings without energy targets and provides multiple levels of compliance.
Contact: Mike Woodford.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program:
•    GeoSystems, LLC – Water-Source Heat Pumps (WSHP)
•    Advanced Industrial Components Inc. – Liquid-to-Liquid Heat Exchangers (LLHE)

Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

AHRI Participates in International HVACR Symposium in Turkey
AHRI accepted the invitation of the Turkish Society of HVAC & Sanitary Engineers to participate in the Tenth International HVAC+R Technology Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, April 30-May 2. The symposium is held every two years and is attended by engineers, contractors, specifiers, and academics. More than 50 papers were presented, and sponsors included AHRI, as well as several AHRI members and certification participants.

AHRI Vice President of International Affairs, Jim Walters, delivered a paper describing the key role that third-party certification can play in sustainable buildings while concurrently helping industry comply with Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). He also reviewed AHRI’s policy on refrigerants and related research.

The symposium coincided with the ISK-SODEX Exhibition, where more than 1,300 companies from 40 countries exhibited equipment to approximately 80,000 visitors. Walters visited the exhibits of many members and certification participants and met with the Turkish HVACR association ISKID, to discuss closer cooperation within the International Council of Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Manufacturers Associations (ICARHMA) and between AHRI and ISKID. Walters also met with Eurovent Technical Director Eric Melquiond and with Federation of European Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Associations (REHVA) Publishing Director, Olli Seppanan. Contact: Jim Walters. Pictured above: Huseyin Tuksel, Executive Director, ISKID. 

MAY 3, 2012

AHRI Staff Visits Crown Boiler Co., Omega Flex
AHRI CFO Stephanie Murphy, Standards Engineer Danny Abbate, and Certification Engineer Aykut Yilmaz visited two Pennsylvania-based member companies in April. Staff from Exton-based Omega Flex, Inc., a member of the Flexible Metallic Gas Piping Systems Product Section, provided a tour of their manufacturing facility. In Philadelphia, AHRI staff visited Crown Boiler Co., a member of the Hydronics Institute Product Section, where they learned the history of the company and toured the facility. Contact: Aykut Yilmaz.

Recognize a Talented HVACR Instructor - Submit Your Nomination
The NEWS is now accepting nominations for its annual Best Instructor and Best Trainer contest. The goal of the contest is to recognize and reward HVACR instructors and trainers who have dedicated their careers to enriching the lives of students. The nomination process is open to anyone who has seen first-hand the work an instructor or trainer has accomplished for the betterment of our industry. Learn more here.

DOE to Issue Final Rule for Commercial Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heating Equipment
On April 30, 2012, AHRI received a final rule from the Department of Energy (DOE),  Energy Conservation Program for Certain Industrial Equipment: Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Commercial Heating, Air Conditioning, and Water Heating Equipment. This final rule will be official when published in the Federal Register, which is expected sometime next week.

The final rule adopts the amended energy efficiency standards in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 for: small, large, and very large water-cooled and evaporatively-cooled commercial package air conditioners; variable refrigerant flow (VRF) water-source heat pumps less than 17,000 Btu/h And 135,000 Btu/h or greater; and computer room air conditioners.

The final rule also revises the federal efficiency test procedures to incorporate by reference the following: AHRI 210/240 – 2008 with Addenda 1 and 2, (small commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment); AHRI 340/360 – 2007 with Addenda 1and 2 (large and very large commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment); UL 727 - 2006 (commercial warm-air oil furnaces); ANSI Z21.47 - 2006 (commercial warm-air gas furnaces); and ANSI Z21.10.3 – 2011 (commercial water heaters). It also adopts the following industry test procedures: AHRI 1230 – 2012 and Addendum 1 (variable refrigerant flow air conditioners and heat pumps); ASHRAE 127 - 2007 (computer room air conditioners); and AHRI 390 - 2003 (single package vertical air conditioners and single package vertical heat pumps).

This table provides the effective dates for the revised or new test procedures, and the revised minimum efficiency standards in the final rule.  With two exceptions, the revisions or new procedures for testing are effective 360 days after the Federal Register publication date, sometime in May 2013.  In the cases of variable refrigerant flow (VRF) water-source heat pumps less than 17,000 Btu/h and computer room air conditioners less than 65,000 Btu/h, the test procedure change is effective on October 29, 2012, which also is the effective date of the respective efficiency requirements for those products. All representations of energy efficiency or energy use for the products covered by those revised or new test procedures made on or after the effective date must be based on testing to the revised or new test procedure. Additional information, along with a complete copy of the final rule, will be provided to the Sections that include products covered by this rule. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Meets with Canadian Standards Association
AHRI and its Canadian partner, the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), met on April 25 with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). During the meeting, AHRI and HRAI raised concerns over the divergence in Canadian standards from a harmonized approach in North America. AHRI presented a draft white paper, which explains that these differences can create significant costs for the industry. They also discussed CSA’s proposed performance standard for refrigeration compressors, and expressed interest in finding a way to allow industry to be more involved in the consideration of new standards. CSA invited AHRI and HRAI to address this matter with the CSA Steering Committee in June. Finally, CSA explained its current process for evaluating the development of new standards, and the funding models it uses to determine which standards move forward. All three parties plan to continue meeting on a regular basis. Contact: Jim Walters.

New NLRB Code Shortens Time for Union Elections; Court Issues Injunction for Poster Rule
The United States Senate recently rejected a proposal (S.J. Res. 36) by Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY) to disapprove a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to shorten the median amount of time allowed for a union representation election from 38 days to 20 days. Enzi’s proposal was rejected by a vote of 45-54, allowing the new regulation to take effect on Monday, April 30. Opponents of the NLRB rule argue that reducing the number of days to hold union representation elections affects both employers and employees by limiting the amount of time available to discuss work-related issues prior to a union election. A motion for an injunction to block the rule, backed by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, is pending in federal court.

In other labor news, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia entered an injunction temporarily prohibiting the NLRB from enforcing its “Poster Rule,” which required manufacturers to hang a notice notifying their employees of their right to unionize and their right to strike. The Court reasoned that an injunction was required to allow the Court time to consider whether the NLRB has the authority to issue the Poster Rule. The injunction is the result of a lawsuit brought last September by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and other business groups challenging the NLRB’s rule. Per the injunction, manufacturers are not required to post information on employee rights to unionize until further notice. However, the Poster Rule could become effective as early as September 2012, depending on further action in the courts. Contact: Jennifer Silvi.

ANSI Hosts Exploratory Meeting on Potential Energy Efficiency Standards Panel
AHRI staff and members, as well as dozens of energy efficiency experts, attended an ANSI-sponsored exploratory meeting in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss the value of creating a panel to oversee energy standards for areas including, but not limited to, building construction and appliances.

The Department of Energy presented on its energy efficiency standards, the Environmental Protection Agency on the ENERGY STAR program, and the Department of Defense on its own operational energy needs. Additional presentations included the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s perspective on America’s long-term energy efficiency outlook; the work of the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing regarding current efforts of the National Association of State Energy Officials; the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s work in support of the clean energy agenda; and the Institute for Market Transformation’s existing building energy rating systems.

After the presentations, ANSI Board Chairman Jim Pauley moderated a discussion on next steps, including defining a mission, determining deliverables, and establishing a scope for the panel.  ANSI staff will work to develop a proposed panel scope. AHRI staff will monitor developments and engage members as needed. Contact: Michael Woodford.