ASAP, AHRI, and ACEEE Applaud Successful Negotiated Rulemaking for Commercial Air Conditioners and Warm Air Furnaces

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Working Group Reaches Consensus on Energy Conservation Standards

Arlington, Va. -- The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) today applauded the success of the Commercial Package Air Conditioners and Commercial Warm Air Furnaces Working Group, established by the US Department of Energy on April 1, to negotiate conservation standards for these products. After six meetings, the working group, comprised of industry, energy efficiency and environmental advocates, contractors and agency representatives, including ACEEE, AHRI, and ASAP, reached consensus and provided recommendations for energy conservation standards, test procedures, and metrics.

“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 $50 billion, while the nation will see energy reductions equal to all the coal burned in US power plants in one year.'

The committee was established under the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC) in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act. Specifically, the 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 65,000 Btu per hour and less than 760,000 Btu per hour 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.

About ASAP

The Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP) is a coalition that includes representatives of efficiency, consumer and environmental groups, utility companies, state government agencies, and others. Working together, the ASAP coalition seeks to advance cost-effective standards at the national and state levels through technical and policy advocacy and through outreach and education. ASAP’s founders include the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Alliance to Save Energy, and Natural Resources Defense Council. Visit ASAP at www.appliance-standards.org.

About AHRI

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. An internationally recognized advocate for the industry, AHRI develops standards for and certifies the performance of many of these products. AHRI’s 300+ member companies manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world. Visit AHRI at www.ahrinet.org.

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