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AHRI Update: October 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.


October 25, 2012

AHRI Staff Visit UL Headquarters
AHRI staff visited the UL headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois, on October 3-4 to discuss UL’s testing capabilities and the company’s intention to bid for AHRI certification testing contracts. AHRI staff, including President and CEO Stephen Yurek, Senior Vice President Henry Hwong, Vice President Bill Tritsis, and Senior Technical Advisor Chris Stone, were given an overview of UL’s current activities in domestic and global HVAC testing that demonstrated the independent laboratory’s testing scope and capabilities. UL’s interest in AHRI certification programs will be discussed with AHRI member companies at the upcoming Annual Meeting in November. UL currently conducts testing in four AHRI certification programs. Contact: Bill Tritsis.

New AHRI Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome new member company American Geothermal, Inc., which will be a member of the Liquid Chillers section. Contact: Freshta Rosario

Updated Membership Roster Now Available
The AHRI Membership Roster has been updated. Among many useful tools, the October 2012 edition includes a staff organizational chart and directory, a list of standing and business committees, and a directory for AHRI’s Board of Directors. Only AHRI members may access the roster, available online here, or under the Member Information tab of theMembers Only website. Contact: Stephanie Murphy.

AHRI Video Update: Senior Certification Engineer Aykut Yilmaz on Boiler Regulations
AHRI’s Aykut Yilmaz provides insight into boiler regulations in the latest AHRI Video Update. Aykut outlines both commercial and residential boiler regulations, and how AHRI participates in the development of those regulations. Look for more video updates from AHRI on its YouTube Channel, at AHRIcommunications. Contact:Sean Lynch.

AHRI Submits CSST State Model Legislation
On behalf of Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) manufacturers, AHRI submitted Oklahoma SB 1513 for consideration in the Council of State Government’s (CSG) Suggested State Legislation (SSL) program. The legislation, which would require home inspectors to notify homeowners in writing that only a licensed contractor can determine if their CSST is properly bonded and grounded, comes after manufacturers joined forces with the National Association of State Fire Marshalls (NASFM) to raise awareness of CSST safety. Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution commending NASFM’s safety campaign. 

To meet the threshold for consideration in SSL, a bill must be signed into law by at least one state. Proposed SSL is submitted to CSG’s Suggested State Legislation Committee, which is made up of elected state officials, for a vote. If the proposed language passes the committee, it is inserted into the SSL Manual and is available to legislators all across the country. This is an effective way to get legislation introduced in multiple states. The Committee will next meet December 1, 2012. Contact: Phillip Wallace or Cade Clark.

CEE Partners Meeting
On October 9-11, AHRI staff attended the Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s (CEE) Partners meeting in Portland, Oregon. This meeting is intended to provide manufacturers and other industry partners an opportunity to engage with efficiency program administrators who design and implement rebate programs for HVAC, water heating, and boiler systems. At the meeting, AHRI staff participated in sessions discussing CEE incentive program activities in the areas of residential whole house efficiency, commercial whole building efficiency, residential air conditioning and gas heating, commercial air conditioning and heat pumps, commercial boiler systems, and residential gas water heating. CEE also provided an Annual Industry Report that summarizes the expenditures and impacts of efficiency incentive programs in the United States and Canada, as well as trends over the past six years for gas and electric energy efficiency programs. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

National Fuel Gas Code Meeting
The National Fuel Gas Code (NFGC) Committee met on October 16-18, to consider the actions recommended by its Advisory Panels to respond to proposals that had been submitted for possible inclusion in the 2015 edition of the National Fuel Gas Code (Z223/NFPA54). Among the actions taken by the Committee were a) the rejection of a proposal to require all plastic piping used for venting to be listed, and b) the adoption of an updated Annex G, Recommended Procedure for Safety Inspection of an Existing Appliance Installation, that was submitted by the American Gas Association. The Committee also received a presentation on the status of research being conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of bonding corrugated stainless steel tubing systems, and whether there is any need to modify current requirements of the National Fuel Gas Code. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

New York Town Rescinds Ban on PVC Vent Systems
The Chief Plumbing Inspector for the town of Huntington, on Long Island, N.Y., informed AHRI that the town has rescinded the ban on the use of PVC venting systems for gas appliances and equipment. Huntington follows the New York State Fuel Gas Code, which allows the use of plastic vents for Category IV appliances where such vents are specified by the appliance manufacturer and are installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Comments on Utah Proposed Pilot Ban
On October 23, AHRI submitted comments to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality on proposals to ban pilot lights on natural gas residential furnaces, fireplaces, stoves, and cooktops installed in the counties of Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, and Weber. The comments recommended that gas central furnaces and vent free fireplaces be removed from the proposed regulation. Contact: Frank Stanonik

EPA Issues Final Version 2.0 ENERGY STAR Residential Water Heaters Specification
On October 11, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final Version 2.0specifications for the ENERGY STAR Program for residential water heaters. A major change in the new version is the addition of requirements for “Light Duty EPAct-Covered Gas Water Heaters,” which covers gas storage water heaters (20 and 100 gallons) with input rates between 75,000 to 100,000 Btu per hour. The Version 2.0 specifications become effective on July 1, 2013, meaning any water heater within the scope of this document that is manufactured and labeled as ENERGY STAR must meet Version 2.0 requirements by that date. Manufacturers also may elect to have their eligible products certified to the Version 2.0 requirements immediately. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

AHRI Submits Comments on DOE Proposals to the IECC
In preparation for the 2015 revisions of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the Department of Energy (DOE) developed several draft proposals to amend provisions of the code’s residential and commercial sections. DOE published several draft code change proposals on its website and solicited public comments. On October 19, AHRI filed comments supporting DOE’s proposal to harmonize the commercial provisions of the IECC with ASHRAE 90.1. However, AHRI expressed strong opposition to a proposal that would effectively ban electric resistance and oil-fired residential water heaters. The comments noted that the proposal, if adopted by a state or local jurisdiction, would be contrary to federal law, as residential water heaters are currently covered by federal preemption. In addition, AHRI opposed a proposal that would limit the use of air-cooled chillers, contending that chiller selection should be based on a life cycle cost analysis and not dictated by codes. The Department indicated that it will not provide responses to individual comments, but that it will consider all comments when it develops final code change proposals. According to the IECC code development process, code change proposals must be submitted no later than January 3, 2013. Contact: Karim Amrane.

ASHRAE Call for Comments
Public comments are invited by ASHRAE for Addendum p to ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Public Review Drafts can be accessed on ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/Public Review Drafts web page. Please note that comments are due by November 18. The purpose of this addendum is the removal of the “Acceptance Testing” provision in Section 10.3.1.1 Building Acceptance Testing. Contact: Michael Woodford

Certification Programs and Policy Committee Discusses Testing Progress
The members of the Certification Programs and Policy (CP&P) Committee met on October 23 at AHRI headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The CP&P is the standing committee that has been charged by the Board of Directors to oversee all AHRI certification programs. The Committee members reviewed the certification program testing progress for 2012 and discussed various issues, including laboratory capacity for some programs, the impact of increased private testing, and the delivery schedules for testing samples at the lab. The members also discussed the impact to the industry of the looming December 31 Department of Energy deadline to provide certification and compliance statements for commercial products. Committee members received reports on the AHRI certification testing contracts and the global certification strategy. Contact: Bill Tritsis.


October 18, 2012
Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy Issues New Report
The Communications Committee and Board of Directors of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, of which AHRI and several of our member companies are members, has developed a colorful 12-page publication entitled, "Industry's Actions to Responsibly Meet Society's Needs: Refrigeration, Air Conditioning, Thermal Insulation and Other Applications." 

The publication addresses issues related to fluorocarbons, and highlights the facts that are necessary for policymakers to consider as decisions are made in regard to implementation of new alternatives. Energy efficiency and Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP) are identified as elements that more accurately determine the selection of new refrigerants or blowing agents. 

In addition, the publication contains nine color inserts detailing technology trends, environmental considerations, and other factors for the following industry sectors using fluorocarbons: residential air conditioning, commercial air conditioning, household appliances, commercial refrigeration, foam insulation, mobile air conditioning, transport refrigeration, metered dose inhalers, and aerosols.

The report is available here. Contact: Francis Dietz.


AHRI Senior Staff Attend HARDI, PHCC Annual Meetings
In recent weeks, AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek attended the HARDI Annual Meeting in Orlando and AHRI Sr. Vice President for Policy David Calabrese attended the PHCC Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Both meetings afforded staff the opportunity to interact with staff and members of those organizations on issues of common concern. Among the topics of discussion were enforcement of regional efficiency standards, DOE enforcement of existing federal efficiency standards, and the climate on Capitol Hill with respect to energy legislation. Contact: David Calabrese

Call for Abstracts for Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting
The 7th International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting (EEDAL ’13) has issued a call for abstracts of papers relevant to their next event in Coimbra, Portugal, scheduled for September 11-13, 2013. Topics may range from consumer behavior to policies, programs, and specific technologies. Those interested must submit their materials before November 23, and can find instructions to do so here. Contact: Karim Amrane.

New AHRI Member
AHRI is pleased to welcome new member company Delta T Solutions, which is participating in the Hydronics Institute section. Contact: Freshta Rosario.

MOHURD Green Building Demonstration Zone in Development
The China Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) has contacted AHRI to announce the development of a green building demonstration zone in Changzhou. The ministry is very interested in having U.S. companies participate in this project, an outline of which can be downloaded here. Those interested should contact MOHURD directly. Contact: Jim Walters.

AHRI Attends Chillventa 2012 and Co-Sponsors a Reception for U.S. Exhibitors
AHRI staff members Henry Hwong and Rupal Choksi, along with AHRI’s incoming chairman Harry Holmes, attended Chillventa 2012, October 9-11, in Nuremberg, Germany. This international trade fair for refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation, and heat pumps attracted 29,000 attendees and a record-breaking 915 exhibitors from around the world. While in Nuremberg, Holmes delivered a congratulatory speech celebrating the 20th anniversary of Association of European Refrigeration Component Manufacturers (ASERCOM). AHRI, along with ASHRAE Journal and the U.S. Commercial Service, co-sponsored a reception in honor of the U.S. exhibitors which was hosted by Christina Sharkey, Principal Commercial Officer from the American Consulate General Munich. 
In conjunction with the show, AHRI staff attended the joint ASERCOM and European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) symposium, Walking Towards a Low Carbon and Energy Efficient Economic Era. The event provided an overview on energy and F-Gas related legislation in the EU of relevance to the HVACR industry. It also covered the critical role of HVACR components and systems in achieving the EU’s regulatory targets, including examples of how these can be turned into business opportunities for industry and users. Contact: Rupal Choksi.

AHRI Meets with Canadian Counterpart to Discuss Testing and Rating Standards
AHRI and the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) held one in a series of meetings on October 1 to provide cross-border coordination on several policy and technical issues, and to prepare for a meeting with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Attending from AHRI were Karim Amrane, David Calabrese, and Stephen Yurek. HRAI attendees were Caroline Czajko, Warren Heeley, and Martin Luymes.
A major topic of discussion was the divergence of U.S and Canadian testing and rating standards. The divergence raises questions about future recognition of AHRI Certified products in Canada, and about the cost to manufacturers of additional testing in Canada. Both agreed this is an un-healthy trend and needs to continue to be addressed with CSA and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). They also agreed that HRAI would add comments to an AHRI filing with the U.S. - Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council. 
HRAI is continuing to monitor provincial regulatory developments. Both organizations will follow up to measure the success of an industry program for the British Columbia regulation on end-of-life treatment of equipment. The parties also discussed better industry coordination on CSA committees, increasing industry membership on those committees, the Canadian ENERGuide for Water Heaters, the CSA/IEEE draft standard on Power Harmonics, and the need for industry comment. Contact: Jim Walters.

Proposed Regulations for Safer Consumer Product Alternatives
On July 27, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) issued a new rulemaking proposal to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review and public comment. DTSC has proposed that chapter 55, Safer Consumer Products, be added to division 4.5 of Title 22, California Code of Regulations. The proposed regulations can be accessed here and address the identification and prioritization of chemicals of concern (COC) in consumer products, evaluation of their alternatives, and regulatory responses for selected alternatives. 

AHRI submitted written comments to the DTSC on October 11, noting that the Department’s intent to publish the COC and priority products lists after the effective date of the regulations creates an uncertain regulatory environment for our industry. AHRI stated that the proposed compliance periods for the alternatives analysis reports were too stringent, and that DTSC should make every effort to avoid posting confidential business information on its website. Lastly, AHRI urged that DTSC account for regulations issued by other federal and state agencies and avoid any unnecessary duplication. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.


Climate and Clean Air Coalition Holds Briefing
Late last week, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition held a briefing at the State Department and expressed its interest in expanding the number of coalition partners. Coalition members stated that working closely with businesses and associations was integral to its success. Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, which focuses on three identified “pollutants:” Black carbon (soot), methane, and HFCs. The Coalition is focusing high-level attention to spur major reductions that can be undertaken now using current technologies. Actions being considered are reducing methane and black carbon from waste and landfills; avoiding methane leakage, venting, and flaring from oil and gas production; phasing down HFCs through new technologies; and addressing black carbon from brick kilns and diesel engines. 

The Coalition stated that HFCs could account for nearly 20 percent of global CO2 emissions by 2050 if left unchecked. The Coalition plans to bring about a phase-down of HFCs by bringing together companies and governments to promote climate-friendly alternatives, minimize leaks, and encourage recovery, recycling, and reclamation. However, the Coalition is meant to be a voluntary, pragmatic, and action-focused complement to legal regimes like the UNFCCC and Montreal Protocol. The Coalition states that there are no legal, financial or emissions reduction obligations required of Coalition Partners. The Coalition seeks to bring together stakeholders’ strengths in a voluntary way to maximize the impact of the collective efforts and motivate more rapid, scaled-up action. AHRI and its members are concerned that this initiative is being pushed by the U.S. government with limited industry participation and outside the collaborative partnership between the government, industry, and environmental advocates that has been so successful with the Montreal Protocol. Contact: Cade Clark.


ASHRAE Public Review Call for Comments
Public commentary is invited on addendum bm to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010,Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. This addendum proposes to add a compliance path to Standard 90.1 to allow modeling in accordance with Appendix G, Performance Rating Method. In addition, this addendum proposes to make the baseline consistent with the baseline of Standard 90.1-2004. Public Review Drafts can be accessed for review and comment by going to ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/ Public Review Drafts web page. Those interested should note that comments are due by November 26. Contact: Michael Woodford.


October 11, 2012

AHRI Staff Visit Members in Tennessee and Kentucky
AHRI staff visited member companies in Nashville, TN, and Bowling Green, KY, the last week of September to meet with staff, tour manufacturing facilities, and discuss issues of concern to the members. Chief Financial Officer Stephanie Murphy, Certification Engineer Helen Davis, and Project Analyst Hubert Liu visited with staff at Polar Technology, Worgas, Manchester Tank, and APCOM. 

AHRI staff gave briefings on association activities, received briefings on member company facilities and history, and were given plant tours where possible. AHRI staff visit member companies on a regular basis to increase interaction and to learn more about the members, what and how they manufacture, and what issues they might have that their association and its staff can help them address. If you would like AHRI staff to visit your facility, contact Amanda Donohue, Executive Assistant to the President & CEO. Contact: Francis Dietz. 

ASHRAE/NIST Conference Announced
ASHRAE and the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) are hosting aconference October 29-30 in Gaithersburg, Maryland to address the need for low GWP alternative refrigerants. The conference will include keynote presentations from James Calm, engineering consultant, and Dr. Steve Montzka of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Registration for the conference is open, and can be accessed on ASHRAE’s website here. Please note that registration closes October 18. Contact: Karim Amrane

AHRI Video Update: Vice President of International Affairs Jim Walters on International Efficiency Regulation
AHRI’s Jim Walters educates viewers on the European Union and the international regulatory environment in this edition of the AHRI Video Update. Jim specifically explains F-Gas regulation within Europe to illustrate AHRI’s position on the need for harmonized standards and a comprehensive strategy when approaching HFC phase-downs. AHRI appreciates the participation of member companies’ staff in organizations like EPEE, which provide European regulatory bodies with guidance on these issues. Look for more video updates from AHRI on its YouTube Channel, at AHRIcommunications. Contact: Sean Lynch.


AHRI Requests Extension of Compliance Date for Certification of Commercial Equipment
In a letter to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, AHRI requested an extension of the December 31, 2012, deadline for compliance with the certification and reporting requirements for commercial HVACR equipment by a minimum of 18 months from the date of publication of the Alternative Efficiency Determination Method (AEDM) final rule. AHRI requested the extension because the Department of Energy (DOE) has not finalized critical modifications to the certification and reporting requirements. AHRI pointed out that the AEDM was an essential element of the DOE certification process and that without it, manufacturers would be subject to enormous financial burdens -- estimated at over half a billion dollars in testing costs. Finally, AHRI noted that the time extension was necessary to avoid a complete shutdown of the industry, as manufacturers will not be in a position to certify all their products to DOE and introduce them in commerce by the end of the year. Contact: Karim Amrane.

Negotiated Rulemaking on Certification of Commercial Products
Based on feedback from industry, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced last July that it was considering the feasibility of conducting a negotiated rulemaking to develop certification regulations for commercial HVACR equipment. Through a convening process, over 40 stakeholders were interviewed to assess the feasibility of a negotiated rulemaking. In its final report, DOE’s convener concluded that a negotiated rulemaking covering certification, including compliance deadlines, AEDMs, sample sizes, and test tolerances, has a far higher likelihood of consensus. DOE is currently reviewing the report and, in the event that it decides to move forward with a negotiated rulemaking, will publish in the Federal Register a notice of intent to form a negotiating committee. Contact: Karim Amrane.

Utah Proposes Pilot Ban
On October 1, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality issued its PM2.5 State Implementation Plan (SIP) for public review. Details regarding the proposed ban are available here. One of the proposals in this SIP is a ban of pilot lights on natural gas residential furnaces, natural gas fireplaces, and natural gas stoves and cook tops installed in the counties of Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, and Weber. The proposal covers residential furnaces with input ratings less than 175,000 Btu/h and would apply to the manufacture, sale, or installation of the noted products in the listed counties after January 1, 2014. Comments on the SIP must be submitted by October 30, or can be presented at any of four public comment hearings. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

CPSC Reports Regarding CO Hazard
On October 1, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued two reports regarding CPSC staff activities addressing carbon monoxide and gas fired equipment. One report is an updated review of carbon monoxide incidents associated with modern gas furnaces and boilers. The other report, Evaluation of the Durability and Longevity of Chemical Sensors Used In—Situ for Carbon Monoxide Safety Shutoff of Gas Furnaces, presents the results of a CPSC-led test program. Both reports have been posted on CPSC’s website for 45 days for public review and comment. AHRI is reviewing the reports and will notify members of any recommended actions or comments. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

ASHRAE Committee Continues Work on 2013 Edition of 90.1
The ASHRAE Standing Standards Project Committee (SSPC) 90.1 met on October 4-6 to continue developing a 2013 edition of Standard 90.1 that will save 50 percent more energy than the 2004 edition. The committee adopted for public review addenda to revise the minimum efficiency requirements for water chilling packages as recommended by AHRI; to revise the minimum IEER requirements for commercial air-cooled and water-cooled air conditioners and heat pumps; and to add minimum energy efficiency standards for both axial and centrifugal fan evaporative condensers with R-507A. SSPC 90.1 also adopted for public review an Individual Substantive Change (ISC) to propose addendum “BO” to clarify the proposed requirement regarding the use of high efficiency, condensing gas water heaters in new buildings with high hot water loads. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

Voter Resources
With just under a month until the elections, campaigns across the nation are heating up. AHRI has created a voting center page with resources and links to information on issues related to manufacturing and business. Before you vote on November 6, visit the page to find out how candidates stand on the issues important to you and your company.

AHRI encourages its members to invite elected officials and candidates to their facilities and show them the positive impact AHRI members have in their community. Both incumbents and challengers are looking for opportunities to meet and greet employees at businesses in their districts and states. AHRI members are invited to contact the AHRI government affairs department for assistance with reaching out to elected officials. Contact: Cade Clark.

Cooling Standards Subcommittee Approves Three AHRI Standards
AHRI’s Cooling Standards Subcommittee (CSS) met on October 5 and approved three revised AHRI standards:
  • AHRI Standards 810 (I-P)-2012 & 811 (SI)-2012, Performance Rating of Automatic Commercial Ice-Makers;
  • AHRI Standards 260 (I-P)-2012 & 261 (SI)-2012, Sound Rating of Ducted Air-Moving and Conditioning Equipment; and
  • Addendum 1 (dated October 2012) to AHRI Standards 550/590 (I-P)-2011 and 551/591 (SI)-2011, Performance Rating of Water-Chilling and Heat Pump Water-Heating Packages Using the Vapor Compression Cycle.
The CSS will meet next on October 31. All of AHRI’s standards and guidelines are free to download from the AHRI website. Contact: Michael Woodford.

ASHRAE Standards Achievement Award
Each year ASHRAE recognizes the outstanding efforts of a single volunteer in the area of standards development with the Standards Achievement Award, which serves to heighten 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 available on the ASHRAE website. Nominations may be sent to the Manager of Standards by November 29. The nomination form can be found listed under the “Other Forms” heading on the ASHRAE website. Contact: Michael Woodford.

AHRI Participates in World Standards Day Activities
AHRI staff will participate this week in the U.S. annual celebration of World Standards Day. The theme of this year's event is “Standards Increase Efficiency.” The exhibits, reception, dinner, and ceremonies will be held at The Fairmont Washington on Thursday, October 11. World Standards Day is intended to raise awareness of the importance of global standardization to the world economy and to promote the role of U.S. standards developers in helping to meet the needs of business, industry, government, and consumers worldwide.

On October 12, AHRI Standards Manager Danny Abbate will participate in ANSI’s workshop, Educating the Next Generation of Standards Professionals. The workshop will include a standards simulation exercise titled, Setting Standards: Exercise in Strategy and Cooperation in the Standardization Process. The exercise explores the analytical and practical skills needed to successfully engage in standards development activities. Contact: Michael Woodford.



October 4, 2012

Representative Jim Jordan Visits AHRI Member Company Beckett Gas
AHRI member company Beckett Gas, a Northern Ohio-based oil and gas combustion products, controls and air moving devices, and energy storage technology company, recently hosted Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) for a plant tour and company visit. Jordan, who is Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, spent time with Beckett CEO Kevin Beckett and toured the facility, which just recently was included in his Congressional district following the decennial census. A friend of manufacturing, Jordan has addressed several AHRI Public Policy Symposia.

In September, Beckett celebrated 75 years of serving the HVAC industry as a private company. “Courageous men like Congressman Jordan encourage us about the prospects for small private enterprises to remain strong job creators,” commented Beckett, following Jordan’s visit.

AHRI members are invited to contact AHRI government affairs staff for assistance with setting up site visits with their representatives in Congress. Contact: Cade Clark.

AHRI Submits Comments on California's Proposed Regulation on Mercury Thermostat Collection and Performance Requirements
On October 2, AHRI submitted comments on the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) draft regulation on Mercury Thermostat Collection and Performance Requirements (DTSC: R-2010-03). This proposed regulation is intended to increase collection and recycling of mercury-containing thermostats in California through mandatory collection and reporting requirements. AHRI’s comments supported recycling efforts in general but noted that the estimated number of thermostats cited as the basis for the regulation is too high, and stated that the mandatory minimum collection rates were arbitrarily chosen. AHRI recommended that California reconsider its proposal and collaborate with the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC). Contact: Jon Lemmond.

Industry-specific Federal Rulemaking Schedule Available Online
AHRI’s policy department closely monitors federal rulemakings that may impact test procedures, standards revisions, and enforcement provisions. View the expected rulemaking schedule for the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency on AHRI’s website. Contact: Aniruddh Roy.

AHRI Monitors New York Activity Regarding PVC Vent Systems
AHRI has received information that some localities on Long Island, New York, are banning the use of PVC for venting of gas-fired equipment. AHRI was unofficially advised that the PVC venting ban in one of those localities, the town of Huntington, does not apply to appliances whose installation manuals specifically list PVC as an acceptable venting material. AHRI has contacted the local code official for confirmation. AHRI also was informed that New York City is considering code changes that appear to be intended to allow PVC venting systems only when the appliance is listed for use with such venting materials and the venting system is installed in accordance with such a listing. However, other parts of the proposed changes seem to imply a total ban on PVC. AHRI is working with the gas utility in New York City for clarification on the proposed changes and will provide members with updates as new information is received. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

NRCan Issues Reminder Notice Regarding Revised Residential Boiler Requirements
On September 25, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) issued a reminder notice regarding the new prescriptive requirement for residential boilers manufactured on or after September 1, 2012. The notice indicated that the new requirements call for the dealer or manufacturer of all hot water boilers with an input rate less than 300,000 Btu/hr to declare whether the equipment includes tankless domestic water heating coils. For those products that are not equipped with such coils, the dealer or manufacturer must report the type of device used to achieve automatic water temperature control. AHRI staff has contacted NRCan noting that this announcement was the first official notice that only a declaration was required. As such, AHRI has requested that time be allowed for the submittal of these declarations for existing models, similar to the approach being taken by the U.S. Department of Energy. NRCan has not yet responded to AHRI’s request. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

Florida Energy Code
This is where the accordion body goes.The Florida Building Commission is considering changes to the Florida Energy Code that would make it consistent with the 2012 ICC code. In late September, AHRI submitted comments on several proposed changes that went beyond the requirements of the ICC energy code and federal regulations. Specifically, AHRI objected to a proposal that would require gas furnaces with inputs less than 225,000 Btu/h and having 3-phase electric supply to comply with the Department of Energy (DOE) minimum AFUE requirement, and proposals that would require small commercial packaged air conditioner and heating equipment less than 65,000 Btu/h to comply with the DOE minimum energy conservation standards for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps. AHRI also objected to a proposal that modifies the table specifying efficiency requirements for water chilling packages by eliminating the category for water-cooled positive displacement chillers and requiring all water-cooled chillers to meet the requirements for centrifugal chillers. The Florida Building Commission’s Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) will meet in the next two weeks to review all comments received. Contact: Frank Stanonik.

DuPont Responds to Refrigerant Safety Concerns
As AHRI reported in last week’s Update, Mercedes-Benz announced that “real-life test scenarios” conducted with automobiles using the refrigerant R1234yf turned up safety issues the company finds incompatible with its safety standards. DuPont responded to the automobile manufacturer in a statement on September 25, stating that extensive data proves that HFO-1234yf can be used safely as an automobile refrigerant. DuPont noted that Mercedes-Benz’s testing did not undergo peer review, and that the automaker’s findings are inconsistent with extensive industry evaluations. DuPont asserted that the refrigerant has performed well in extensive safety and efficacy testing conducted by independent testing groups. The full statement is available here. Contact: Karim Amrane.

AHRI Co-Sponsors a Successful AHR Expo Mexico and Members Luncheon
AHRI staff members Justin Prosser, Shelley Pursell, Umair Surani, and Jim Walters attended the 2012 AHR Expo Mexico, September 25-27, in Monterrey, to promote AHRI’s standards and certification programs, as well as strengthen relationships with members and partners. The Expo is co-sponsored by AHRI, ASHRAE, and the International Exposition Company.

AHRI’s Vice President of International Affairs Jim Walters participated in the ribbon cutting that officially opened the 2012 AHR Expo Mexico (see photo below). The show attracted more than 10,000 attendees and included 300 exhibitors. AHRI’s booth attracted attendees with questions about, and interest in, the AHRI certification program.

In conjunction with the show, AHRI hosted a luncheon attended by nearly 40 member companies that included a presentation by U.S. Consulate staff from the Departments of State and Commerce (available here), about the Mexican political and economic landscape, a presentation by AHRI (available here), and conversations about AHRI member involvement and relations with Mexican governmental entities.

AHRI also worked with John Harrod, ASHRAE Region 8 Director, to discuss ways to strengthen AHRI’s relationship with the Mexican ASHRAE chapters, and met with staff of the American Chamber of Commerce in Monterrey, Mexico. Contact: Shelley Pursell.

AHRI Submits Annual Certification Report to DOE
As required by the Code of Federal Regulations 10 C.F.R Part 429.12(d), AHRI submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) on October 1 the annual certification report for direct heating equipment. The AHRI Directory was used to submit the efficiency data to DOE for those manufacturers who have authorized AHRI to submit certification reports on their behalf. Manufacturers do not need to submit a new third party authorization form and compliance statement unless there are any updates to the forms on file with AHRI. The due date for manufacturer certification reports for commercial products is December 31. DOE stated that it will consider AHRI’s request for an 18-month postponement of commercial product reporting. Contact: Bill Tritsis.

Participants Sought for ANSI Standardization Collaborative to Advance Energy Efficiency
To advance a coordinated approach to energy efficiency for the United States, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has launched the Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC), and is seeking relevant experts to take part. The EESCC will assess the energy efficiency standardization landscape and develop a standardization roadmap and compendium. The roadmap is intended to identify standards, codes, and conformance programs that are available or under development; existing gaps; and additional standardization activities that may be needed to advance energy efficiency in the United States.

All stakeholders interested in joining the collaborative and contributing to the development of the roadmap are invited to return the participation response form and related copyright form to eescc@ansi.org. Participation in the EESCC is open to all affected parties, including representatives of companies and organizations, relevant trade associations, standards development and conformity assessment organizations, government agencies, and academia.

Furthermore, ANSI is currently accepting nominations of qualified candidates for working group co-chairs and other leadership opportunities within the EESCC. Candidates must demonstrate expertise in the working group’s area of focus, have proven experience building consensus among diverse stakeholder interests, and demonstrate knowledge of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system. Additional information on the roles, responsibilities, and estimated time commitments for EESCC working group co-chairs is detailed in the nominations form. All nominations must be accompanied by a letter of corporate support and a biographical statement, and must be submitted by October 5 to eescc@ansi.org.

The first full plenary meeting of the EESCC is tentatively scheduled to take place November 7-8, in the Washington, D.C., area, with final dates and details to be confirmed. Contact: Michael Woodford.

ASHRAE Issues Public Review Call for Comments
Public commentary is invited on the following addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 135-2010, BACnet - A Data Communication Protocol for Building Automation and Control Networks. Those interested in commenting should note that they are due at ASHRAE by November 5.
  • Addendum al — The purpose of this addendum is to specify Best Practices for Gateway Design and to add new BIBBs and Devices Profiles.
  • Addendum ar — This addendum adds new engineering units, clarifies coercion requirements, specifies subscribe-COV property error codes, adds slave proxy BIBBs, allows unicast I-Have messages, and requires both time sync services for time masters.
In addition, public input is sought for addenda to ASHRAE Guideline 13-2007, Specifying Building Automation Systems. Comments are due by November 13.
  • Addendum h — The CSI MasterFormat™ has been updated since the original publication of Guideline 13 and will soon undergo another revision. Changes in this addendum are intended to keep the specification guidance applicable to any format.
  • Addendum i — This addendum revises and updates Section 4.1 to include benefits commonplace today that were merely emerging when the guideline was written.
Public Review Drafts can be accessed by going to ASHRAE’s Standards, Research & Technology/ Public Review Drafts website. Contact: Michael Woodford.