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DOE rejects AHRI standards challenge

doe-logoUSA: The Department of Energy is to reject a petition from the AHRI for a reconsideration of the new energy conservation standards for commercial walk-in coolers and freezers.

In a pre-publication Federal Register notice issued on September 23, the DOE confirmed that it would deny the call for a reconsideration of the standard from the Airconditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute on the grounds that it was “procedurally improper”. The DOE also claims that AHRI’s petition reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of how to perform the calculations required to rate a given refrigeration component.

The AHRI has claimed that the new commercial walk-in coolers and freezers (WICF) standard will significantly impact manufacturers and consumers of this equipment. The AHRI has argued that in the final rule the DOE set efficiency levels above the agency’s own determination of what the maximum technology is for some types of this equipment.

“This is in direct violation of the core principle of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which stipulates that efficiency rules be based on what is technologically feasible,” the Institute argued.

The “petition for reconsideration” under the Administrative Procedures Act requesting that the DOE correct errors in the final rule was lodged on July 30. Five days later, on August 4, the AHRI filed a petition for review in the US Court of Appeals, asking the court to hold the petition for review in abeyance until the DOE response to the petition for reconsideration was known.

At the time AHRI president and ceo Stephen Yurek said they were hopeful that the petition for reconsideration would be successful and that the petition for review would be unnecessary.

The Cooling Post has not yet received a reaction to the DOE’s decision from the AHRI.

Fundamental misunderstanding

The DOE claims that AHRI’s petition appears to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of how to perform the calculations required to rate a given refrigeration component. it goes on to say that the AHRI’s petition is “predicated on a flawed set of calculations and assumptions”.

While maintaining that the issues raised in AHRI’s petition do not warrant amending the WICF standards, the DOE concedes “It would be beneficial to hold a public meeting to demonstrate how DOE’s test procedure and refrigeration system standards interact with each other and how manufacturers must calculate the efficiency of their respective refrigeration systems.

The DOE says the public meeting, which it had already planned to hold, “will help ensure stakeholders properly apply the test procedure when assessing the compliance of their equipment with the applicable standard”.

The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 from 9am to 1pm at the US Department of Energy in Washington, DC. In addition, DOE plans to broadcast the public meeting

via webinar. Further information will be published in advance on DOE’s Web site at:

Related news:

AHRI challenges walk-in cooler standardsAugust 4, 2014
USA: The US Department of Energy’s has again come under fire from the AHRI, with the industry body filing a court petition for a review of the DOE standards for commercial walk-in coolers and freezers. Read more…

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