Developed with industry, utilities, and environmental groups, these standards will save more energy than any other standard previously issued by the US Department of Energy. It is estimated that businesses will save $167bn on their utility bills over the lifetime of the products.
These new commercial air conditioning and furnace standards will occur in two phases. The first phase will begin in 2018 and is calculated to deliver a 13% efficiency improvement in products. Five years later, an additional 15% increase in efficiency is required for new commercial units.
Commercial air conditioners, also known as rooftop units, are one of the most commonly used products, cooling about half of the total US commercial floor space.
The standard was finalised in consultation with 17 stakeholders, including the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute and Air Conditioning Contractors of America, along with some of the nation’s leading manufacturers, utilities, and efficiency organisations.
In 2011, the DOE released a design specification for rooftop units as part of its High Performance Rooftop Unit Challenge initiative. This was the spur for US manufacturers to build and deliver more innovative, competitively-priced, energy-saving rooftop units. With these new units commercialised, the Department’s Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign has spurred businesses to upgrade over 40,000 rooftop units by providing them with technical assistance throughout the process. The new standards will ensure all businesses have access to energy-saving air conditioners that lower their utility bills for years to come.
“Just days after the Paris agreement to cut global emissions and create a new era of affordable energy, today’s announcement marks the largest energy-saving standard in history and demonstrates that America is leading the effort to reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions,” said energy secretary Ernest Moniz.
The full document is available here.