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Stricter Energy Conservation Standards for Room Air Conditioners Under Consideration

Thursday, June 18, 2015
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Energy is inviting written comments and information no later than Aug. 3 on whether amended energy conservation standards for room air conditioners would result in a significant amount of additional energy savings and whether those standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified. The DOE is also interested in comments on several issues associated with the currently applicable test procedure for room ACs. Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act’s six-year review requirement, DOE must publish by April 8, 2017, a proposal for new standards or a determination that the existing standards do not need to be amended.

DOE defines “room air conditioner” under EPCA as a consumer product other than a packaged terminal air conditioner that is powered by a single phase electric current and is an encased assembly designed as a unit for mounting in a window or through the wall for the purpose of providing delivery of conditioned air to an enclosed space. It includes a prime source of refrigeration and may include a means for ventilating and heating.

DOE is aware that room ACs may provide additional consumer-oriented functions besides cooling, heating and ventilation. Certain units may offer an air circulation feature in which the room air is circulated without the addition of any outside air. In addition, certain units may provide an air cleaning function by means of electrostatic filtration, ultraviolet radiation or ozone generators. DOE requests feedback on the suitability of adding references to air circulation, air cleaning or other functions to the room air conditioner definition.

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