On April 1, the DOE set up a working group to negotiate conservation standards for packaged terminal air conditioners and packaged terminal heat pumps, as well as standards for commercial warm air furnaces.
After six meetings, the working group, comprised of industry, energy efficiency and environmental advocates, contractors and agency representatives, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), reached consensus and provided recommendations for energy conservation standards, test procedures, and metrics.
The working group was tasked with addressing rules for the energy efficiency of commercial package air conditioners and heat pumps (specifically, air-cooled with rated cooling capacities greater than or equal to 65,000Btu/hr and less than 760,000Btu/hr split and package AC and HP) and commercial warm air furnaces, as authorized by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended. The scope excluded package terminal air conditioners and heat pumps (PTAC/PTHP), single package vertical units (SPVU), computer room air conditioners (CRAC), and variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems.
“Negotiated rulemaking are our preferred method for establishing energy conservation standards for covered products and equipment,” said AHRI president and ceo Stephen Yurek. “Bringing stakeholders together to develop a rule that is both effective and achievable is the best way to ensure that our members’ products and equipment provide consumers and businesses with comfort, safety, and productivity while helping the nation achieve its energy reduction targets,” he said.
“This negotiated outcome will provide huge energy and economic benefits for the nation,” said ASAP Executive Director Andrew deLaski. “DOE, industry, and all the participants deserve credit for coming up with an approach that delivers those important national benefits and works for industry.”
“By every measure, this is the biggest efficiency standards rulemaking in DOE’s history,” said Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “Over 30 years of sales, businesses from big box stores to commercial building owners will net savings of nearly $50bn, while the nation will see energy reductions equal to all the coal burned in US power plants in one year.”