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Energy Efficiency Standards for Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps and Water Heaters Amended

Friday, July 17, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Energy has amended the mandatory minimum energy efficiency standards for (1) small three-phase commercial air-cooled air conditioners (single package only) and heat pumps (single package and split system) less than 65,000 Btu/h; (2) water-source heat pumps; and (3) commercial oil-fired storage water heaters. The DOE has also updated the energy test procedure for commercial warm-air furnaces to incorporate by reference the most current version of American National Standards Institute Z21.47, Gas-fired central furnaces, specified in ASHRAE Standard 90.1, as well as the most current version of ASHRAE 103, Method of Testing for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of Residential Central Furnaces and Boilers.

Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the DOE may only adopt more stringent standards if there is clear and convincing evidence showing that such standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified and would save a significant additional amount of energy. The levels the agency is adopting are the same as the efficiency levels specified in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013. The DOE has determined that the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 efficiency levels for the subject equipment types are more stringent than existing federal energy conservation standards and will result in economic and energy savings compared existing standards.

The DOE has also concluded that clear and convincing evidence does not exist that would justify more stringent standard levels than the efficiency levels in ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 for any of the equipment classes. In addition, the DOE has determined that the standards for small three-phase commercial air-cooled air conditioners (split system) do not need to be amended.

Compliance with the amended standards for water-source heat pumps and commercial oil-fired storage water heaters will be required from Oct. 9, 2015, while compliance with the amended standards for small three-phase commercial air-cooled air conditioners (single package only) and heat pumps (single package and split system) less than 65,000 Btu/h will be required from Jan. 1, 2017.

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