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AHRI Update: May 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.


May 30, 2013

Deadline for IEA Heat Pump Conference Abstracts Extended
The deadline to submit abstracts to the International Organizing Committee for the 11th IEA Heat Pump Conference has been extended to June 30. The conference will be held in Montreal, Quebec, May 12-16, 2014, and will present an opportunity for global heat pump stakeholders to meet and discuss the state of the heat pump industry. To submit an abstract, please visit the conference website. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI Staff Visit Member Companies in the South
AHRI Vice President of Technical Services and Communications Henry Hwong and Certification Engineers Laura Petrillo-Groh, Lauren Zelinski, and Helen Davis recently visited Mexichem’s R-134a plant in St. Gabrial, La.; Luvata’s coil plant in Grenada, Miss.; and Novelaire’s energy recovery ventilator plant in Baton Rouge, La. 

The visit provided AHRI staff with an opportunity to learn more about member companies and see their operations first hand. AHRI member companies that would like to host AHRI staff should contact Amanda Donohue. Contact: Helen Davis.

Bipartisan Bills Introduced to Improve Commercial and Residential Building Efficiency
Last week, Republican Congressman David McKinley (W.V.) and Democratic Congressman Peter Welch (Vt.), co-chairs of the House High Performance Building Caucus, introduced two energy efficiency bills. The Home Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) Act would provide a $2,000 rebate to homeowners who achieve a minimum of 20 percent energy reduction by investing in energy efficiency improvements. For every five percent in additional energy savings after the initial 20 percent, they could receive another $1,000 – up to a total of $8,000, or 50 percent of the project's cost. The path to efficiency under the bill is technology neutral and the homeowner would be free to determine how the energy savings are achieved. The Better Buildings Act encourages tenants and landlords to work together on efficiency by creating a TENANT STAR certification program, similar to the ENERGY STAR building program. Energy efficient tenants would receive public recognition of their TENANT STAR certification. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

AHRI Awaits Court Ruling on APGA Litigation
The Department of Energy (DOE) filed a Response Brief on May 28 that asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to dispose of the remaining issues in the APGA litigation without further briefing or filings. AHRI, ACCA, and the energy efficiency advocates (including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and others) co-signed this Joint Response, which supports APGA’s motion filed May 13. At the same time, HARDI filed a Response brief that essentially is in opposition to AHRI’s and asks the Court to order further briefings on all of the issues pending in the litigation. 

The Court must now decide how to proceed. If it agrees with AHRI, it will then render a decision on the two currently pending issues: HARDI’s motion to include A/Cs in the litigation and the DOE/APGA furnace settlement. If the Court decides to support HARDI’s approach, it will order further briefing, and then all of the parties will have to submit new briefs on the different pending motions and the merits of the case. If the Court chooses the latter, the process could take several months, with oral arguments likely in early 2014, and a final decision after that. AHRI is hopeful that the Court does not choose this course of action, as it would put a final decision very near the January 2015 compliance date for the AC/Heat Pump rule. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

AHRI Publishes Standards 1300 and 1301
AHRI recently published two first-time standards: AHRI Standard 1300 (I-P)-2013,Performance Rating of Commercial Heat Pump Water Heaters; and AHRI Standard 1301 (SI)-2013, Performance Rating of Commercial Heat Pump Water Heaters. These standards cover Commercial Heat Pump Water Heaters (CHPWH) with input capacities less than or equal to 50 kW, including all three phase products and single phase products not covered by the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR Part 430, Appendix E to Subpart B of Part 430 -Uniform Test Method for Measuring the Energy Consumption of Water Heaters. All AHRI Standards are available to download here. Contact: Danny Abbate.


May 23, 2013

Save the Date for the 2014 HVACR & Mechanical Conference
The HVACR & Mechanical Conference for Education Professionals will be held March 3-5, 2014, at a new location. The Conference Center at the Maritime Institute (CCMIT) is just minutes from the Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington International Airport, with 24-hour complimentary shuttle service. Visit www.instructorworkshop.org for updates on the conference and to view materials from the 2013 conference sessions. Registration will open in September. Contact: Warren Lupson.

Former GAMA Chairman, ARI Vice President Bill Dalton Dies
William “Bill” Edward Dalton of Aiken, S.C., died May 16, 2013. A former Vice President of Engineering of Excel Comfort Systems (now Ducane Air Conditioning and Heating), Mr. Dalton had a long and distinguished career in our industry, serving as Chairman of GAMA, as a Vice President of ARI, and as a long-time member of ARI’s Certification Programs and Policy Committee and the Unitary Small Equipment Product Section. Mr. Dalton received the Richard C. Schulze Distinguished Service Award from ARI in 2001. His obituary can be foundhere. Contact: Francis Dietz.

Make Plans to Attend Energy Efficiency Summit and Congressional Reception
Join AHRI and our industry partners for two great events on August 5, in Washington, D.C. The 2013 AHRI/ACEEE Energy Efficiency Summit will begin at noon and will bring together manufacturers, government officials, and the environmental advocacy community. Invitations to the summit and registration information will be available next week.

On the evening of August 5, AHRI and its partners will host the third Annual HVACR Congressional Reception, at 5pm. This reception showcases the innumerable contributions of the HVACR and water heating industry to the health, comfort, and productivity of the American people, and highlights the more than one million jobs created and sustained by our industry. It is sponsored AHRI; The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA); The Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI); The Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors (PHCC); and North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Contact: Mike O’Halloran.

AHRI Hosts Veteran Rees Scholarship Recipient
Rees scholarship recipient Louis Alexander, the first scholarship recipient under the new Veterans Program, attended the AHRI and Rees Scholarship Foundation Board Meetings on May 8, in Arlington, Va. During the meetings, he shared his future plans to join the HVACR industry as a technician, and then as a small business owner. He also stressed the importance of programs such as the Veterans Program in helping veterans who sometimes face financial hardship as they begin new careers and search for the stability they need to support their families. Mr. Alexander is currently enrolled in the HVACR Associate of Science program at Richmond Community College in Hamlet, N.C. The Foundation announced the Veterans Program and Instructors Program in November 2012, and has since awarded scholarships to three instructors and one veteran. Visitwww.reesscholarship.org to learn more about scholarship recipients and the available programs, or to make a contribution. Contact: Marc Neufcourt.

AHRI Staff Visit Member Companies in New Jersey and Wisconsin
AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek and Vice President of Public Affairs Francis Dietz recently visited with officials at Honeywell’s corporate headquarters in Morristown, N.J., to discuss AHRI’s research activities with respect to refrigerants, as well as recent and projected future global refrigerant developments. While in New Jersey, the two also visited with officials at ZoneFirst/Trolex Corporation in Elmwood Park and toured the plant that manufactures zone control equipment. 

On April 15-16, AHRI staff members Rupal Choksi, Sunil Nanjundaram, Justin Prosser, and Chris Stone visited Trane’s facilities in La Crosse, Wisc. Trane officials gave AHRI staff an overview presentation and a tour of their manufacturing and testing facilities, and held a discussion about AHRI’s Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled Chillers certification programs. The visit provided staff with an opportunity to learn more about the operations and issues that impact AHRI’s members and how AHRI can better serve their needs. AHRI member companies that would like to host AHRI staff should contact Amanda Donohue.  

Moniz Sworn In, EPA Nominee Inches Closer
On May 21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Dr. Ernest Moniz was sworn in as the nation's 13th secretary of Energy.  The Senate unanimously voted to confirm Moniz’s nomination last week to replace former Energy Secretary Steven Chu. 

Meanwhile, the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head the Environmental Protection Agency was narrowly approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on a party line, 10-7, vote. Her nomination will now move on for consideration by the full Senate, but the narrow margin hints at a tough road ahead.  Lead EPW Republican Senator David Vitter (La.) may still filibuster or place a hold on the nomination until he and his Republican colleagues receive answers to questions raised by the GOP regarding transparency at the agency.  Republicans also want further explanation of the information and data that the EPA uses to design pollution regulations.  Procedural strategies to overcome any filibuster are being considered, but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hopes to make enough progress to hold a simple up-or-down vote on the nomination in the near future. Contact: Cade Clark.

AHRI Government Affairs Committee Meets
On Wednesday, May 22, the AHRI Government Affairs Committee met at AHRI to discuss advocacy efforts and refine legislative priorities for the 113th Congress.  Members discussed strategy on handling legal, regulatory, and global issues impacting the industry.  The Committee will meet again in September to provide continued direction on AHRI’s legislative priorities and advocacy efforts. Contact: Cade Clark.

Update on DOE Commercial Equipment Certification Working Group
On May 14-15, the Commercial Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Water Heating, and Refrigeration Certification Working Group met to continue its work developing consensus certification requirements for commercial HVAC, water heating, and refrigeration equipment. At this meeting, the working group focused on the specifications addressing Alternative Efficiency Determination Methods (AEDM), which are part of DOE’s certification regulations for covered commercial and industrial products. Although the working group did not complete its review of all the aspects of the AEDM requirements at this meeting, it did agree on several key points, including: no requirement for DOE to approve an AEDM before it can be used by a manufacturer; at least two tests should be conducted by the manufacturer of each class or subclass of products covered by a specific AEDM to substantiate that AEDM; and the tolerance for the manufacturer’s tests conducted to substantiate an AEDM should be a one-sided 5 percent. 

In a related issue, the working group discussed the verification testing of production units as part of DOE’s enforcement regulations. It was noted that a 5 percent tolerance may be an appropriate general criterion for verification testing, but the tolerance will need to be different for verification tests of some product classes and some efficiency metrics. The working group agreed that: 1) if verification testing indicates that the rating of a model that was rated using an AEDM is inaccurate, the resolution of that result should focus on that specific model only; and 2) the manufacturer should be consulted, along with other available sources, for information on properly setting up a unit for testing during DOE sponsored verification testing of production units. 

The working group is expected to present its recommendations to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) by the end of August. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for May 29-30. Contact:Frank Stanonik.

DOE Establishes New Energy Savings Calculation Protocols
The Department of Energy (DOE) announced last week a new, consistent method to calculate energy savings from upgrades in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities. The Department developed the protocols under the Uniform Methods Project, which is aimed at making energy saving calculations consistent among public utility commissions, utilities, contractors, and energy efficiency program administrators. Contact: Mike Woodford

New Jersey Increases Energy Efficiency Incentives Following Hurricane Sandy
To encourage residents, business owners, and local governments to choose energy efficient equipment in their rebuilding efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New Jersey Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) is offering an “enhanced Hurricane Sandy relief incentive.” The incentives are for qualifying equipment purchased by homeowners, including furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, gas water heaters, ductless mini-split A/C systems, and central air conditioners purchased between October 29, 2012, and June 30, 2013. For businesses affected by Sandy, incentives available through “NJ SmartStart Buildings” have been increased by 50 percent.

The NJCEP has committed almost $2.35 million in incentives since the program’s inception in January. According to a press release from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, over 1,230 businesses, residents, municipalities, and schools have taken advantage of the enhanced incentives program. For more information on the enhanced incentives for Hurricane Sandy recovery and to see eligibility guidelines, visitwww.njcleanenergy.com/sandy. Contact: Mike O’Halloran.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE invites public commentary on the following Public Review Draft Standards. Those interested in providing comments can do so by accessing the ASHRAE website before June 16. 
  • ASHRAE/ASHE Addendum ac to ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE Standard 170-2008, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. This proposed addendum adds requirements for ducted returns for inpatient facilities.
  • ASHRAE Standard 41.11P, Standard Methods for Power Measurement. This standard prescribes methods for power measurements under laboratory and field conditions when testing heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigerating systems and components. Contact: Michael Woodford.

Energy Efficiency Standardization Roadmap Development Begins
ANSI has announced that its Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC) is moving into the development phase of an energy efficiency standardization roadmap. The EESCC is a cross-sector group working to increase the awareness, adoption, and implementation of standards, codes, and conformity assessment programs among policy makers and the market. More than 140 technical experts from more than 50 member organizations and four federal agencies are currently involved. 

The EESCC roadmap will identify current and forthcoming standards, codes, and conformity assessment programs, pinpoint potential gaps, and articulate additional standardization activities that may be needed to advance energy efficiency relative to the built environment. During its information-gathering phase, the collaborative collected input on more than 500 documents, 150 conformance programs, and a dozen perceived gaps via the EESCC Inventory Database. Stakeholders are invited to review the EESCC Inventory Database and to contribute additional relevant information, including perceived gaps, for consideration by the working groups. Online entry forms for submitting information to the EESCC Inventory are available here

The collaborative’s five working groups will hold in-person workshops in June and July 2013; interested stakeholders may RSVP to eescc@ansi.org by Tuesday, May 28. Please note that space is limited and advance registration is required:
  • Tuesday, June 4 - WG3 Workshop: Building energy modeling, rating, and labeling
  • Tuesday, June 11 - WG4 Workshop: Evaluation, measurement, and verification
  • Tuesday, June 18 - WG1 Workshop: Building energy and water assessment and performance standards
  • Thursday, June 20 - WG5 Workshop: Workforce credentialing
  • Thursday, July 25 - WG2 Workshop: Systems integration and systems communications
Contact: Michael Woodford

New Certification Participant
AHRI is pleased to welcome Schoonover Hutterian Brethren DBA Spectrum Manufacturing to its Water-Source Heat Pumps (WSHP) certification program. Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

AHRI Attends European Heat Pump Association Forum
AHRI Vice President for Regulatory Policy and Research Karim Amrane and AHRI consultant Bassam Elassaad attended a European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) forum on May 15 in Brussels, Belgium. The one-day gathering of invited regulators and manufacturers presenting on subjects of interest to EHPA members, including EU regulations, had roughly 150 attendees. EHPA is comprised 104 heat pump and component manufacturers, research institutes, universities, testing labs, and energy agencies from 22 European countries, and represents the majority of the European heat pump industry. Its key goal is to promote awareness and proper deployment of heat pump technology in the European marketplace for residential, commercial and industrial applications. AHRI and EHPA Secretary-General Thomas Nowak and EHPA  Treasurer Dina Koepke, discussed market surveillance approaches in the EU and the impact on the EU heating market of heat pumps being declared a renewable resource. AHRI was a limited sponsor of the event. Pictured left: Karim Amrane; Stefan Thie, Fujitsu, Chairman of EPEE’s Market Surveillance Working Group; Dina Koepke, Emerson; and Martin Dieryckx, Daikin. Contact: Jim Walters.


May 16, 2013

AHRI Spring Meeting
AHRI hosted its 2013 Spring Meeting last week in Arlington, Va. More than 300 members and guests attended the meeting, which included 25 product section meetings, a presentation from NAM chief economist Chad Moutray, and networking events. The meeting began with the Need-to-Know session, during which AHRI staff discussed the most pressing industry issues and the association’s latest achievements. Several committees met prior to the start of the meeting, including the AHRI Board of Directors, the Strategic Planning and Nominating Committees, and the Rees Scholarship Foundation Board of Directors (which included a presentation from Louis Alexander, an Army veteran and Rees Scholarship recipient). 
 
Materials from the meeting are available on the members only website. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

AHRI Board of Directors Approves New Logo, Mission, and Vision/Tagline
During the AHRI Spring Meeting last week, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee approved a new mission and strategic objectives for the association: 

To be the advocate of North American HVACR and water heater manufacturers and a global leader of the industry by: 
  • Having global influence on and being the source of HVACR and water heating equipment performance standards, certification programs, and information.
  • Being the leading, recognized, indispensable voice in the development of environmental and energy policy impacting the industry.
  • Promoting the health and well-being of the industry and raising the awareness and image of the industry among all stakeholders.
 
AHRI also introduced a new logo, which was redesigned to include both heating and cooling elements, and also a new mission and tagline: We Make Life Better. The logo and tagline will be phased in on all AHRI materials over the next several months. Requests for the new logo may be directed to Monica Cardenas. Contact: Francis Dietz.

Mestek Chairman & CEO John Reed Dies
John Reed, Chairman and CEO of Mestek, Inc., passed away last week in Westfield, Massachusetts. He was a leader and friend to many in the HVACR industry. In addition to building and overseeing a successful company, he actively participated in the Hydronics Institute (HI) and on the Better Heating/Cooling Council. He twice served as HI Chairman. He also supported AHRI and its predecessor organizations through membership of his companies; encouraging his employees to participate on association boards, technical councils, and committees; exhibiting in association shows; and by speaking at technical conferences. His contributions to our industry are recognized and celebrated, and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him in our industry. Contact: Stephen Yurek.

New Board, Executive Committee Members Named
At its May 8 meeting, the AHRI Board of Directors elected Michael Swiderski, President, Baltimore Aircoil Company, to serve as a 2014 director-at-large. The Board also elected Chris Peel, SVP & COO, Rheem Manufacturing Co., and David Regnery, President, Trane North America, Ingersoll Rand – Climate Solutions, to serve on the 2013 AHRI Executive Committee. Contact: David Calabrese.

2014 AHR Expo Could be Record-Breaking
Early indications are that the 2014 AHR Expo in New York is on pace to be a record-breaking Show. According to Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, which produces and manages the AHR Expo (co-sponsored by AHRI and ASHRAE), more than 90 percent of the available exhibit space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has already been reserved. “Based on these encouraging numbers, we are expecting a sold out Show,” Stevens said. “And due to the steadily improving economy and sheer size of the HVACR market in the Northeast, we may set new attendance records.” The last time AHR Expo was in New York, in 2008, it established a then all-time attendance record of more than 39,000 visitors. Including exhibitor personnel, the total number of attendees was more than 57,600. Manufacturers and service companies considering exhibiting are encouraged to reserve space immediately. Your customers will be there, shouldn’t you? Contact: Francis Dietz.

APGA Files Motion to Reconsider Furnace Stay
On May 13, the American Public Gas Association filed a motion with the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit asking that it reconsider its May 1 Order, which stayed enforcement of the Furnace rule, but also asked the parties to re-brief all of the main issues. The motion asks that the Court instead (1) grant the joint DOE/APGA motion to vacate the regional furnace standards, and (2) deny the HARDI request to substitute as a petitioner.  If that reconsideration is denied, APGA requests that the Court clarify the order such that if additional briefing is necessary, it be limited to supplemental briefs on procedural issues on which the May 1 order did not address. AHRI is consulting with DOE and the other parties, and will update members as this develops. Contact: Dave Calabrese.

Shaheen-Portman Passes Senate Committee
On May 8, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved S. 761, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, commonly known on the Hill as Shaheen-Portman. The 22-member Committee passed the bill by voice vote with only three opposing votes, cast by Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.). The bill passed with some technical changes and corrections from the original language introduced in late April. Additional amendments are expected on the floor of the Senate once the bill is up for debate, which is expected sometime after the Memorial Day recess. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

AHRI Participates in ICC Code Development Hearings
The 2013 International Code Council (ICC) Code Development Hearings were held April 21-30, in Dallas, Texas. The hearings focused on Group B codes, which comprise the energy conservation (IECC), residential (IRC), mechanical (IMC), and fire (IFC) codes. More than 2,000 proposals were debated and voted on in meetings attended by building and fire code officials from around the country. AHRI followed more than 100 code change proposals 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 successful hearings for AHRI. All proposals submitted by ASHRAE and supported by AHRI aimed at harmonizing the IECC with ASHRAE 90.1 were approved. Several proposals requiring that space heating and water heating combustion appliances located within the dwelling unit’s air barrier be of the direct-vent type or mechanical draft type were defeated. In addition, a proposal requiring buildings with 300 tons or greater peak cooling load to have no more than 100 tons served by air-cooled chillers was also defeated. Public comments on the actions taken by the code development committees at the code hearings in Dallas are due on July 15. The final action hearings will be held on October 2-10, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Contact: Karim Amrane.

ASHRAE Publishes New Standard Addenda
ASHRAE has announced that standard addenda a, c, d, e, f, h, j, k, l, n, q, s, t, x, y, aa, ab, andac to ANSI/ ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, are available for purchase at the ASHRAE website. Contact: Michael Woodford.

AHRI Laboratory Liaison Committee Update
The AHRI Laboratory Liaison Committee (LLC) continues to lead the North American effort to develop tri-national harmonized standards for AHRI products through the Council for Harmonization of Electrotechnical Standards of the Nations of the Americas (CANENA). The LLC met at AHRI headquarters in Arlington, Va. on May 8, to discuss work on Proposed CANENA Standard: 60335-1, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 1: General requirements; on Part 2-40, Particular requirements for electrical heat pumps, air conditioners and dehumidifiers; on Standard 60335-2-34, Particular Requirements for Motor-Compressors; and on the update and maintenance of UL1995/CSA236. The LLC also discussed the IEC SC 61D work regarding flammable refrigerants.
 
In addition, the AHRI-sponsored North American Standards Planning Joint Task Group (NA SP JTG) met on May 7 with stakeholder representatives from the U.S. and Canada to discuss efforts to promote development of IEC-based harmonized safety standards for the North American appliance and HVACR industry. Contact: Danny Abbate.

AHRI Datacom Cooling Product Section Scope Revised
The AHRI Datacom Cooling (DC) Product Section has revised the section's scope to include definitions for computer rooms and data centers and clarify product configurations listed in the scope. Changes include: 
  • Elaborate definitions for computer rooms and data centers, with additions extracted from proposed addendum CS to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010, to help eradicate any ambiguity pertaining to the definition of these spaces.
  • The configuration attribute “Equipment that is designed specifically for the application in a data center,” has been removed from the proposed scope to address redundancy concerns.
  • Appropriate wording has been added to the product configurations list to reflect that product configurations listed in the current scope incorporating “free cooling” economizers can attain cooling with reduced compressor capacity, instead of shutting these compressors off completely.
Contact: Richie Mohan.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the Innovair Corporation to the Unitary Small Air Conditioner Equipment (included Mix-Match Coils) (USAC) certification program. Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.


May 9, 2013

AHRI Submits Comments to CEC on Air Filter Labeling
The California Energy Commission (CEC) held a public meeting on April 9 to address energy efficiency measures for appliances and equipment covered under the Commission's 2012 Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR), and air filter labeling was discussed. Any measures resulting from this OIR will be incorporated into California’s Appliance Efficiency Standards in Title 20 of the California Code of Regulations. 

On May 3, AHRI submitted a letter to the CEC stating that mandatory labeling for air filter products by region would be onerous for manufacturers and would not provide any added benefit to consumers. The letter also recommended that the CEC change the proposed requirement to allow manufacturers to disclose the efficiency and pressure drop ratings on their own websites, thereby allowing consumers better access to performance ratings for the respective air filter products. 

CEC has scheduled a staff workshop on May 28 to discuss the stakeholder comments that have been received on air filter labeling. The workshop details can be accessed here. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

DOE Extends Public Comment Period on Framework Document for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers Standards
The Department of Energy (DOE) extended the public comment period on the framework document for commercial and industrial fan and blower standards from May 2 to June 3. The extension was due to a request from the Air Movement and Control Association International (AMCA) for additional time to conduct a rapid and intensive research project to provide DOE with better information at an early stage of the regulatory process.

AHRI has already submitted a letter to DOE on the framework document, and will consider a supplemental letter if necessary. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

DOE Considers Amending Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Warm Air Furnaces
The Department of Energy (DOE) issued a request for information (RFI) on May 2 to assess if the energy conservation standards for commercial warm air furnaces should be amended. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as amended by the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (AEMTCA) on December 18, 2012, requires that DOE consider amending the standards for any covered commercial and industrial equipment for which more than six years has elapsed since the issuance of the most recent final rule establishing or amending a standard for the product. Given that the current energy conservation standards for commercial warm air furnaces were set in 1992, DOE is obligated to publish, no later than December 31, either a notice of determination that the current standards for these products do not need to be amended, or a notice of proposed rulemaking for amended energy conservation standards.

In the RFI, DOE seeks input and data from stakeholders to help in the development of the technical and economic analyses to determine whether amended energy conservation standards are warranted for commercial warm air furnaces. In its planned rulemaking analyses, DOE is specifically seeking stakeholder input on 30 issues across various topics such as market assessment and analyses of engineering, markups, energy use, life-cycle cost and payback period, shipment, and national impact. AHRI will discuss the issue with relevant product sections and develop an industry position. DOE will accept comments on the RFI until June 3, which may be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal, or by e-mail with the docket number EERE–2013–BT–STD–0021 in the subject line of the message. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
ASHRAE invites public commentary on the following addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Those interested in providing comments can do so by accessing the ASHRAE website before June 2.

•    Addendum ai: This addendum eliminates redundancy. It is no longer necessary to single out the control system for HVAC commissioning when control system commissioning is now addressed in the opening section title and applies to all systems.
•    Addendum al: The prescriptive envelope requirements as provided in section 7.4.2 Building Envelope, and shown in Appendix A – Prescriptive Building Envelope Tables are deleted and replaced by percent improvements compared to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010.
•    Addendum am: This addendum tightens the prescriptive requirements for window to wall ratios from 40 percent for all buildings to 30 percent for buildings less than 25,000 ft2 and 40 percent for all larger buildings.

Contact: Michael Woodford.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Zamil Central Air Conditioners CO (L.L.C.) – Central Station Air-Handling Units (AHU)
  • Lennox Industries Inc. – Unitary Small Air Conditioner Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USAC); Unitary Small Heat Pump Equipment (includes Mix-Match Coils) (USHP)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.


May 2, 2013

AHRI Submits Letter on Montreal Protocol Amendment
AHRI recently submitted a letter to the Department of State and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the recent North American HFC phase down amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The letter noted that when the amendment was originally proposed in 2009, the phasedown schedule for developed countries included a 2013 start date and 2033 end date. However, as this amendment has been reintroduced annually since 2009, the phase down end date has not been adjusted beyond 2033, resulting in a “compression” of the proposed phase down schedule. In light of this, AHRI asked that any proposal introduced or supported by the United States Government ensure that it include a minimum 20-year phase down period. Contact: Cade Clark.

AHRI Submits Comments to DOE on PTAC and PTHP Framework Document
On April 25, AHRI submitted comments to the Department of Energy (DOE) in response to the framework document for packaged terminal air conditioners (PTAC) and packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHP). The framework document, which provides an explanation of the relevant issues, analyses, and processes DOE anticipates using to determine whether to amend the minimum energy conservation standards, was published in the Federal Register on February 22. In the comments, AHRI noted that: 
  • PTAC and PTHP systems should be tested according to ASHRAE 16 or ASHRAE 37 for cooling tests and ASHRAE 58 for heating tests. However, ASHRAE 16 is currently being revised and will likely incorporate ASHRAE 58 and psychrometric and calorimeter testing methods. Assuming that happens, testing for the AHRI PTAC/PTHP certification program will likely refer only to ASHRAE 16.
  • DOE should allow manufacturers to specify break-in time and break-in at non-specified ambient conditions.
  • Condensate pans should be prefilled prior to testing, as that will significantly reduce testing time and costs and will not affect performance measurements.
  • ASHRAE 90.1-2010 recently amended the minimum energy efficiency standards of standard size PTACs. DOE must review the amendment and should seriously consider its adoption.
  • Given that addendum n to ASHRAE standard 62.1, which increased the minimum allowable minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of air filters from six to eight was recently finalized, DOE should consider the energy implications of the change on PTAC and PTHP units.
Contact Jon Lemmond.

AHRI Submits Comments on DOE Framework Document for Commercial Pumps
On May 2, AHRI submitted a letter to the Department of Energy (DOE) on the framework document for commercial and industrial pumps that was published in the Federal Register on February 1. AHRI’s letter provided support for DOE’s effort to include energy conservation standards for pump, motor, and drive systems as a step toward moving from product- to system-efficiency standards and increasing efficiency gains. AHRI recommended that the method for measuring performance of pump/motor/drive packages be developed carefully and include performance data from AHRI’s planned variable frequency drive (VFD) certification program, which is expected to launch and publish data in 2014. Finally, AHRI stressed the need to keep standalone VFDs outside the scope of DOE’s rulemaking while encouraging the agency to focus on a system approach. Contact: Jon Lemmond.

AHRI Comments on DOE Proposal to Correct Residential Furnace/Boiler Test Procedure
On April 22, AHRI submitted comments on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to revise the residential furnace/boiler efficiency test procedures to add calculations for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of a condensing, modulating residential boiler or furnace when the option to omit heat-up and cool-down tests is used. The comments reaffirmed AHRI’s support for this change and urge DOE to finalize the rule as soon as possible. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Comments on DOE Proposal on Waiver Process for Thermal Storage Residential Electric Water Heaters
On April 29, AHRI submitted comments on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to establish a waiver process that would allow the manufacture and sale of residential electric storage water heaters with volumes larger than 55 gallons after April 16, 2015, for use in electric utility load shifting or demand response programs. These comments express concerns with the proposed waiver process and urge DOE to reconsider its tentative decision not to establish a separate product class for water heaters used in these ETS programs. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

DOE Holds First Meeting of the Commercial Equipment Certification Working Group
On April 30, the Department of Energy (DOE) held the first meeting of the Commercial Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Water Heating, and Refrigeration Certification Working Group. The purpose of the group is to undertake a negotiated rulemaking to develop consensus certification requirements for commercial HVAC, water heater, and refrigeration equipment. The working group spent most of the day establishing the ground rules and defining the scope of the negotiations. Among the issues included in the scope of the negotiations are (1) basic models groups, (2) Alternative Efficiency Determination Methods (AEDMs), (3) certification and enforcement sampling plans, and (4) the role of voluntary industry certification programs (VICPs). The working group established a very aggressive schedule to complete its recommendations to the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) by the end of August 2013. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for the week of May 13, 2013. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI Submits Comments to DOE on Framework Document for Commercial and Industrial Fans and Blowers
On February 1, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice concerning energy conservation standards for commercial and industrial fans and blowers, which DOE considers to be types of fans with specific ratios between 1.11 and 1.20. DOE has proposed to determine that commercial and industrial fans are covered equipment, and is not considering standards for fans that are components in regulated commercial products. DOE may also consider standby and off mode energy use for such products as part of this rulemaking. A public meeting was held on February 21 to discuss the information presented within DOE’s framework document. At the meeting, DOE solicited comments, data, and information from participants and other interested parties by May 2. The comment period deadline was originally March 18, but DOE chose to extend it based on requests from some stakeholders. AHRI’s letter to DOE stated that:
  • A regulation on fans and blowers in HVAC applications would lead to complications, since such fans and blowers are designed and installed as part of larger HVAC systems rather than as standalone components;
  • DOE should exempt products that are already covered by an existing DOE energy conservation standard or regulated at the state level by defined efficiency metrics that includes fan power in ASHRAE Standard 90.1 or the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC);
  • Standalone VSDs should remain outside of the scope of this rulemaking; and
  • DOE should closely examine ANSI/AHRI Standard 1210-2011, the current performance rating standard for standalone VSDs that are used in HVACR applications, and develop a systemic efficiency calculation for fan-motor-VSD packages by combining the performance maps of each component.
Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Attends the OpenADR Alliance Seminar in Austin
On April 23, members of AHRI’s Smart or Connected Equipment Ad Hoc Committee and AHRI staff met with the representatives of the Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR) Alliance in Austin, Texas, to discuss the potential of the OpenADR 2.0 profile being utilized in demand response-ready HVACR and water heating equipment. At this meeting, the OpenADR Alliance representatives mentioned that they intend to enter into discussions with various system operators and public utility commissions with an intention to move the utility industry towards implementing the OpenADR specification in demand response programs. OpenADR Alliance representatives also indicated interest in continuing to work with AHRI and its members on the issues related to HVACR and water heating products. AHRI requested a list of expectations that they have from the industry with respect to the implementation of the OpenADR specification.

Several manufacturers, utilities, and aggregators participated in a seminar on the OpenADR 2.0 specification later that afternoon to gain further understanding about how the profile could provide an interface between electricity markets and aggregators or end-customer loads, add value to both economic and reliability-based demand response programs, and simplify customer energy management. OpenADR 2.0a and 2.0b are currently available for download on www.openadr.org. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Submits Comments to DOE on Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Residual Furnace Fan Test Procedures
On April 2, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR) concerning test procedures for residential furnace fans. The scope of the SNOPR included circulation fans used in weatherized and non-weatherized gas furnaces, oil furnaces, modular blowers, and electric furnaces. In the SNOPR, DOE proposed to modify the test procedures to rate the electrical consumption of furnace fans based on the recommendations that were provided by AHRI and align the proposed furnace fan test procedures with the DOE test procedure for furnaces, which is codified in appendix N to subpart B of 10 CFR Part 430. On May 2, AHRI submitted a letter to DOE stating that although the proposed changes in the SNOPR are a significant improvement over the proposed test procedures issued by DOE in May 2012, additional changes are needed to ensure that the testing burden imposed on manufacturers is not unnecessarily prohibitive. The AHRI letter recommended that:
  • DOE not require furnace manufacturers to measure an additional steady state efficiency to calculate the FER metric because it would impose an additional testing burden. Manufacturers already measure the steady state efficiency at an external static pressure determined at mid-rise (which is different from the conditions proposed in DOE’s SNOPR) in order to calculate the AFUE metric.
  • DOE modify the equation representing the fan energy rating (FER) metric in order to account for the heat capacity ratio.
  • DOE provide the option of employing an alternative efficiency determination method (AEDM) to determine the FER and AFUE rating metrics.
  • DOE exclude modular blowers from the scope of this rulemaking.
Additionally, the AHRI letter provided inputs on the twelve issues on which DOE sought stakeholder comment. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

EPA Introduces New Product Finder Tools
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the deployment of new product finder tools for Geothermal Heat Pumps. The tools provide consumers, partners, and interested third parties with a user-friendly search option that allows manufacturers to display additional information for models such as SKUs, UPC codes, and retail model numbers. EPA encourages ENERGY STAR Manufacturing Partners to review listed models and verify the accuracy of the data. Any concerns about data quality should be reported to AHRI. Those interested in accessing detailed datasets can do so here. Contact: Maryline Rassi.

New Certification Participants
AHRI is pleased to welcome the following new participants to its certification program (program in italics):
  • Lloyd Electric & Engineering Ltd. – Forced Circulation Air-Cooling and Air-Heating Coils (ACHC)
  • MultiStack LLC – Air-to-Air Energy Recovery Ventilators (Packager)(ERV Packager)
Contact: Sunil Nanjundaram.

ASHRAE Issues Call for Comments and Publication of New Standards
ASHRAE invites public commentary on ASHRAE Addendum a to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 140-2011, Standard Method of Test for the Evaluation of Building Energy Analysis Computer Programs. The purpose of this addendum is to add a new set of test cases. These test cases use the results of verified detailed numerical models for ground-coupled heat transfer as a secondary mathematical truth standard for comparing the results of models typically used with whole building energy simulation software. Those interested in providing comments can do so by accessing the ASHRAE website before May 19. 

In addition, ASHRAE has announced the publication of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2013,Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings (Includes Addenda b, c, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, q, r, u and v), which can be purchased here. Contact:Mike Woodford.

AHRI Hosts Meeting with Gulf Cooperation Council in Arlington, Virginia
On April 26, AHRI staff met with standards and meteorology officials from Kuwait, Oman, and Yemen, as well the Secretary-General of the Gulf Standardization Organization (GSO) of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The GCC is a political, economic, and security alliance established among Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. In those countries, the standards and metrology government offices set Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and labeling requirements.

Attendees discussed the value of using AHRI programs to supplement efforts by the GSO to address energy efficiency and environmental goals. AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek and Nabil Molla, the GSO Secretary-General, agreed that the next step would be to enter into an agreement specifying areas of cooperation for standards and certification. Contact: Jim Walters.