AHRI Reiterates Strong Support for DOE Process Rule
Date Published: January 16, 2020
Arlington, Va. — The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today expressed its continued strong support for a Department of Energy (DOE) rule submitted to the Federal Register that would set forth updated procedures for the Department to follow in its rulemaking activities. The Procedures for Use in new or Revised Energy Conservation Standards and Test Procedures for Consumer Products and Commercial/Industrial Equipment rule, more commonly known as the Process Rule, outlines binding rules that DOE must follow when it develops new or updated energy conservation standards. AHRI has been consistent in its support for an updated Process Rule, as the current version was created in 1996 as guidance, which resulted in its being inconsistently followed by DOE.
"The Process Rules will bring much-needed modernization to the DOE rulemaking process, including making them binding on the Department," said AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. "We are heartened that the Department appears to be strengthening its commitment to abide by provisions of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, such as the Act's requirement that DOE develop test procedures prior to issuing updated standards – a requirement essential to manufacturers' ability to accurately test equipment to ensure compliance," he added.
Provisions to initiate an expeditious early look at costs and benefits and changes in equipment technology when determining whether a new standard is justified, as well as requiring early stakeholder engagement in rulemakings are of critical importance to the industry, as is defining the threshold for "significant energy savings" at .3 quads, or a 10 percent efficiency improvement, over 30 years for each covered product category.
"Overall, we are very pleased with this new rule, which will provide greater transparency for the process, accountability for the Department, and certainty for manufacturers, and we look forward to participating in the updated rulemaking process," said Caroline Davidson-Hood, AHRI General Counsel. "The new version is not only responsive to the realities facing industry, but reflect a faithful adherence to DOE's authorizing statute," she added.