AHRI Update: November 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.

November 29, 2012

Annual Meeting Attracts Record Number of Attendees
Over 600 people attended AHRI’s Annual Meeting, held November 11-13, in Palm Springs, California. The meeting included the popular Need-to-Know session, product section meetings, networking events, and sports and tours that took advantage of the sunny southern California landscape. During the meeting, members elected new officers and presented awards to industry leaders, all of which are listed online here. AHRI’s 2013 chairman, Harry Holmes (pictured left), presented his plans for the year, while outgoing chairman Ajita Rajendra outlined AHRI’s many accomplishments of 2012. Materials from the meeting - available to members only - can be accessed online here. Contact: Monica Cardenas.

AHRI Releases Final Test Reports for Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program
AHRI released three final test reports for its Low Global Warming Potential Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP). The reports contain test results of low-GWP refrigerants for residential heat pump, water-cooled chiller, and commercial ice machine applications, and also include the refrigerants’ compositions. Eleven low-GWP refrigerants were tested, and their performance was compared to their respective baseline refrigerants, either R-410A or R-404A. These reports are the first of many that will be published as part of the research program.

Currently, tests are ongoing, but all are expected to be completed by early 2013. Test reports will be released to the public as they are reviewed and approved by the AHRI Low-GWP AREP Technical Committee. Additional reports are expected to be published in mid-December and will be posted online here. Viewers are encouraged to visit the site monthly for the latest reports. Contact: Xudong Wang.

HVACR Alliance Meets at AHRI Headquarters
Members of the HVACR Alliance met on November 28 at AHRI’s offices to discuss issues of concern to the industry.  Alliance members include ACCA, AHRI, AMCA, ASHRAE, HARDI, HRAI, IAQA, NATE, NAFA, PHCC, and RSES. 

The group discussed job growth within the industry and how to promote and increase it;; increased federal and state regulation of the industry; association management issues, including how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect associations; as well as tax reform and the “fiscal cliff.” NATE Chairman Don Frendberg provided an update on NATE activities as well as the activities of the newly formed HVACR Workforce Development Foundation. Contact: Francis Dietz.

AHRI Assures Consumers: Manufacturers Working Hard to Meet Increased Demand in Wake of Hurricane Sandy
AHRI released a statement on November 27 to make consumers and contractors aware that manufacturers have increased production to meet the unexpected increased demand for residential and light commercial boilers, furnaces, heat pumps, and water heaters that resulted from Hurricane Sandy and the superstorm it spawned in the Northeastern United States. AHRI noted that at this point in a typical year, much of this equipment has already been manufactured and shipped to distributors, so manufacturers and parts suppliers have quickly ramped up production to meet the unexpected and unprecedented need for these products. Contact: Francis Dietz.

Congressional Leadership Posts Take Shape
Following a long hiatus from Washington to campaign, Congress is back to work, and talks with the White House on averting the looming fiscal and tax crises have begun. Before that work could begin, however, the two chambers first had to organize their leadership ranks for the upcoming 113th Congress. House Republicans will maintain their current leaders, with John Boehner of Ohio continuing as the Speaker of the House, Eric Cantor of Virginia as Majority Leader, and Kevin McCarthy of California as the Majority Whip. The only major change is the election of Representative Cathy McMorris-Rogers of Washington as the head of the GOP Conference. In addition, Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana will chair the Republican Study Committee. 

Today, House Democrats voted to maintain their current leaders, with Representative Nancy Pelosi of California continuing as Minority Leader, Steny Hoyer of Maryland as Minority Whip, and Xavier Becerra of California as Chair of the Democratic Caucus. The Senate leadership in both parties remains the same, except that Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas will assume the role of Minority Whip, replacing the retiring Jon Kyl of Arizona. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

H.R. 6582: American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act Still a Hot Topic
Following the introduction of H.R.6582 by Representatives Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Russ Carnahan (D-MO) earlier this month, work continues toward passage in the House and Senate. The bill contains a handful of regulatory relief measures affecting manufacturers of walk-in freezers, water heaters, service-over-the-counter products, and small-duct, high-velocity equipment. Discussions among Republican and Democratic offices as well as between the House and Senate continue to be productive. AHRI and its potentially affected members are working closely with Congress to quickly usher the bill through the Lame Duck session. Contact: Guido Zucconi.

EPA Releases 2013 Criteria for Most Efficient Energy Star Products
This is EPA recently issued the final criteria for ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2013. For a product to qualify for Most Efficient, it must be certified as ENERGY STAR by an EPA-recognized certification body, such as AHRI, and meet the requirements listed below. 

Instructions for applying for Most Efficient designation can be found here. Most Efficient products for 2013 will be displayed online beginning January 1, 2013. More information on each product category is available here. Contact: Maryline Rassi.

ASHRAE Releases Standard 191P for Public Review
On October 26, ASHRAE released Standard 191P, Standard for the Efficient use of Water in Building, Site, and Mechanical Systems, for a 45-day public review. The standard provides baseline requirements for the design of building sites and mechanical systems that minimize the volume of water required to operate HVAC and other building systems. Mandatory and prescriptive energy consumption requirements are also included. Products impacted by the proposed standard include boilers, cooling towers, evaporative condensers, evaporative coolers, and geothermal heat pumps. AHRI is currently reviewing the standard and, in consultation with impacted product sections, will develop industry comments if necessary. Members are encouraged to review the public draft standard and submit their comments to AHRI no later than December 3. The public review period ends on December 10. Contact: Jon Lemmond.

ASHRAE Public Review Call for Comments
Constructive comments are invited on the following Public Review Drafts, which can be accessed and reviewed on ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/Public Review Drafts web site
  • 1st Public Review of Guideline 14-2002R, Measurement of Energy and Demand Savings. The purpose of this document is to provide guidelines for reliably measuring the energy, demand, and water savings achieved in conservation projects.
  • Title, Purpose, and Scope of Proposed ASHRAE Standard 212P, Method of Test for Determining Energy Performance and Water-Use Efficiency of Add-On Evaporative Pre-Coolers for Unitary Air Conditioning Equipment.
Please note that comments are due to ASHRAE by December 31. Contact: Mike Woodford.

ASHRAE Call for Members
A call for members was announced for the following ASHRAE committees:
  • GPC 11, Field Testing of HVAC Controls Components
  • ASHRAE Standard 212P, Method of Test for Determining Energy Performance and Water-Use Efficiency of Add-On Evaporative Pre-Coolers for Unitary Air Conditioning Equipment
Persons interested in serving on these ASHRAE committees should indicate their interest and obtain the necessary membership forms here. Contact: Michael Woodford.

November 8, 2012

AHRI Publishes Industry Statistical Profile
AHRI reintroduced the Industry Statistical Profile this month. This report provides a snapshot of the HVACR and water heating industries overall, and historical context for its development to this point. The report will be available for download free of charge to individuals from AHRI member companies on the members-only website, in addition to the print copies that will be available at the upcoming AHRI Annual Meeting. Those who are not AHRI members will be able to purchase the Industry Statistical Profile at a later date. Contact:Sean Lynch.

New AHRI Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome new member company Data Aire, Inc., which participates in the Datacom Cooling Product Section. Contact: Freshta Rosario.

AHRI Video Update: Vice President of Public Affairs Francis Dietz on the AHRI Annual Meeting
AHRI’s Francis Dietz gives a preview of the upcoming Annual Meeting in the latest AHRI Video Update. Francis gives an overview of the meeting's highlights, and informs viewers of the new AHRI App. Look for more video updates from AHRI on its YouTube Channel, at AHRIcommunications. Contact: Sean Lynch

AHRI Applauds Introduction of Regulatory Relief Measures
AHRI announced its support of H.R. 6582, the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act, introduced on November 2 by Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL) and Russ Carnahan (D-MO). The bill, which contains regulatory relief measures for manufacturers of certain HVACR and water heating products, is similar to H.R. 4850, a bill approved by the Senate in late September. AHRI is working closely with the sponsors of this bill to expeditiously pass H.R. 6582. Additional details are available on the AHRI members-only site. Contact: Cade Clark.

Commercial Refrigerator and Freezer ENERGY STAR Specification Revision Expected
On October 26, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memorandumstating its intent to revise the existing ENERGY STAR specification for commercial refrigerators and freezers. The agency will hold a stakeholder webinar on November 15, from 12:00-2:00 p.m. ET. Stakeholders interested in participating in the webinar should respond via e-mail by November 13.  Prior to issuing the initial draft of the revised specification, the EPA has requested that stakeholders provide the following information by November 27:
  • Information on product models having certain design variations that may lead to different energy consumption values and measured internal volume.
  • Prevalence of alternative refrigerants in commercial refrigeration products and any impacts on energy performance due to the use of such refrigerants.
  • Because the current specification’s scope is limited to a finite class of products, the EPA is now seeking energy performance and market data on products such as display cases, hybrid refrigerators and freezers, and dual temperature refrigerators.
AHRI will gather comments from members on the attached memorandum. Please submit your comments to AHRI by November 19. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Participates in ICC Final Action Hearings
Comments on the 2012/2013 code change proposals to the International Code Council (ICC) were reviewed and voted on at the final action hearings on October 24-28, in Portland, Oregon – hearings in which AHRI participated. 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 proposals of interest to the HVACR and water heating industry. Overall, 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 Product Section that exempts evaporators and cooling coils designed to operate in sensible cooling from having a condensate drain system, was approved at the hearing. AHRI’s focus will now be on proposals to the IECC, IRC, and IFC, which will be addressed next year. The ICC will accept proposals to amend these codes until January 3, 2013. Contact: Karim Amrane.

Hydronics Institute Executive Committee Meeting Held
The Hydronics Institute’s Executive Committee met by web-conference on Monday, November 5 to receive reports from its Public Relations, Technical, and Certification Compliance Committees. The Committee also received updates on the balance of its special funds, was made aware of issues related to a number of its certification and statistical programs, and discussed several important Department of Energy rulemakings that impact both residential and commercial boilers. Contact: Dave Delaquila.

ASHRAE Seeks Nominations for Standards Achievement Award
Each year, ASHRAE recognizes the outstanding efforts of a single volunteer in the area of standards development. The Standards Achievement Award recognizes excellence in volunteer service and serves to increase general membership awareness of, and interest in, standards activities. The award is open to ASHRAE members who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the ASHRAE standards development process based on criteria listed on the ASHRAE website. Please submit your nomination by November 29. The nomination form is available under the “Other Forms” heading on the ASHRAE website. Contact: Michael Woodford.

AHRI Staff Attend the 2012 International Symposium on New Refrigerants and Environmental Technology
AHRI Vice President of Regulatory and Research Karim Amrane and Manager of Research Xudong Wang are attending the International Symposium on New Refrigerants and Environmental Technology this week in Kobe, Japan. Amrane will report on the AHRI Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation Program (Low-GWP AREP), while Wang will present a summary of a recently completed AHRI research project Risk Assessment of Residential Heat Pump System Using 2L Flammable Refrigerants. Contact: Karim Amraneor Xudong Wang.

Global Industry Leaders Meet in Japan
Industry leaders from seven international air conditioning, heating, and ventilation associations met October 24 in Kyoto, Japan. The Annual Meeting of the International Council of Air-Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Manufacturers’ Associations (ICARHMA) was hosted by the Japanese Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Association (JRAIA). The nine member associations of ICARHMA represent more than 1,000 manufacturers of heating, cooling, and refrigeration equipment. Together, they represent an industry that employs more than two million people – and that has more than $225 billion in annual sales – in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States.

AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek, Vice President of International Affairs Jim Walters, and Incoming Chairman Harry Holmes, Morrison Products, represented AHRI, which serves as ICARHMA’s Secretariat. The meeting was chaired by Shinya Okada, Daikin Industries.

Members reviewed global trends in climate change and energy efficiency regulations in their respective areas and globally. They noted with concern a trend of proliferating but un-harmonized Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and uncoordinated, government-sponsored equipment performance verification programs, all of which may result in non-tariff barriers to trade. The members asked the Secretariat to prepare an issue paper on that subject with possible solutions for member review.

ICARHMA’s Working Group Meeting will be Sunday, January 27, 2013, in Dallas, Texas, in conjunction with the AHR Expo. The Brazilian Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, and Ventilation Industry Association (ABRAVA) will host the 2013 Annual ICARHMA meeting in October 2013. Contact: Jim Walters.

November 1, 2012

AHRI Staff Attend 2012 ENERGY STAR Partners Meeting
AHRI staff attended the 2012 ENERGY STAR Partners meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 22-24. AHRI learned about EPA’s future improvements to the functionality of the Qualified Product List (QPL) available on EPA’s website for each product category.

AHRI is following EPA’s activities being an EPA-recognized certification body (CB) for the following ENERGY STAR product categories (corresponding AHRI certification programs): Boilers (RBLR), Central Air Conditioners/Air Source Heat pumps (USAC/USHP), Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers (CRM), Furnaces (RFRN), Geothermal Heat pumps (WSHP/DGX), Commercial Ice Machines (ACIM), Light Commercial HVAC (ULE) and Water Heaters (RWH). ENERGY STAR Partners who are in AHRI certification programs and have chosen AHRI as their CB can meet EPA ENERGY STAR certification and verification requirements. Contact: Maryline Rassi.

AHRTI Research Project Report Published
The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology Institute (AHRTI) published the final report of its research project No. 20110, Void Fraction Measurement and Modeling for Condensing Refrigerant Flows in Small Diameter Tubes. This project measured the pressure drop and void fraction of R-410A at condensation conditions (i.e., Tsat ~ 50 °C) in small, single tubes of 0.5 mm, 1 mm, and 3 mm in diameter. The final report is available online here. Contact: Xudong Wang.

Cooling Standards Subcommittee (CSS) Reviews Proposed AHRI Standard 920P
AHRI’s Cooling Standards Subcommittee (CSS) met on October 31 and reviewed Proposed AHRI Standard 920P, Performance Rating of Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems. The CSS identified several questions for the Dehumidifiers Engineering Committee to answer to clarify provisions in the standard. The Engineering Committee will plan to meet and then resubmit the Proposed Standard to CSS at its next meeting on December 11th. All of AHRI’s standards and guidelines are free to download from the AHRI website.
Contact: Michael Woodford.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
Public commentary is invited by ASHRAE for the following Public Review Draft Proposed Standard.
  • ASHRAE/USGBC/ASPE/AWWA Standard 191P, Standard for the Efficient Use of Water in Building, Site, and Mechanical Systems - The purpose of this standard is to provide baseline requirements for the design of buildings, site, and mechanical systems that minimize the volume of water required to operate HVAC, plumbing, and irrigation systems. Please note that comments are due by December 10.
  • Addendum t to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The recently approved ASHRAE Position Document on Unvented Combustion Devices states in its recommendations, among others “Ventilation standards, particularly those concerned with residential buildings, should consider addressing unvented combustion appliances and establishing appropriate technical requirements.” The removal of Section 2.3 would allow SSPC 62.2 to consider unvented combustion devices in accordance with ASHRAE’s position, and the SSPC intends to do so, with input from the stakeholders. The change from “vented” to “installed” in Section 6.4 is to address all the aspects of a proper installation, not just the venting. Please note that comments are due by November 25.
Public Review Drafts can be accessed on ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/ Public Review Drafts web page. Contact: Michael Woodford.

IEC/TC 72 Working Group Meetings in Padua, Italy
Seven Working Groups related to International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee TC 72 dealing with standards for Automatic Electrical Controls, met during the week of October 15, in Padua, Italy. Experts from eight member countries were in attendance including Canada, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA. One major accomplishment during these meetings was the final resolution of issues related to the next publication of the fifth edition of IEC 60730-1, Automatic Electrical Controls. That edition will move to the final stage of voting and the publication in the coming weeks. Other WG activity during the week ranged from proposals and updates on standards for temperature and pressure sensing controls, timers, door locks, and electrical actuators. The TC is also currently developing requirements for the safety aspects of remote reset function when the user is not near or in line-of-sight of the appliance. The TC also continues to monitor international activity related to the development of smart grid standards. IEC 60730-1 and its relevant part 2 standards are becoming widely used and implemented in the US and in many other countries around the world. The next IEC/TC 72 meetings are scheduled for mid April 2013 in Morristown, NJ. Contact: David Delaquila.

ISO/TC 161 Working Groups Meetings at AHRI Headquarters
Three Working Groups related to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee TC 161 dealing with standards for Control and protective devices for gas and oil burners and/or appliances, met during the week of October 22, at AHRI headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. Experts from four member countries were in attendance including Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA. The Ad Hoc Working Group reviewing regional differences met on Monday and made good progress to develop solutions that would harmonize several regional requirements that are now standing in the way of more globally relevant standards. Also, progress was made on several standards currently under development dealing with thermoelectric flame supervision devices, mechanical gas thermostats, and a new standard for gas quick connectors (GQCs) that would be specifically used inside an appliance for the connection of gas piping and controls. The next ISO/TC 161 meetings are scheduled for late March 2013 in Paris, France. Contact: David Delaquila.