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Energy efficiency standards for residential and commercial equipment have finally been nailed down to something we can all hang our hat on-YAY!

On April 24, 2014, the Department of Energy and the American Public Gas Association (APGA) reached a settlement agreement on the implementation of the Federal Regional Standards. Conditions under the terms of the agreement are outlined below.

  • The Federal Regional Furnace Efficiency Standards, which were originally scheduled for implementation in May of 2013, will be removed. A new rule making process will begin to evaluate future changes to furnace efficiency standards.
  • Federal Regional Standards for cooling equipment will go into effect as planned on January 1, 2015. All air conditioners (A/C) and heat pumps (H/P) (split system and packaged) manufactured after December 31, 2014 must comply with these Federal Regional Standards.
  • The Federal Regional Standards for air conditioners sold in the south and the southwest is based on the date of installation; however, the industry will have an 18 month sell-through or grace period (starting on 1-1-2015). Original equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers will be allowed to buy, sell, ship and/or install non-compliant products (13 SEER) during this period as long as they are manufactured prior to January 1, 2015.
  • Split system and packaged heat pumps are not subject to the 18 month sell-through or grace period, as the standard applied is based on the date of manufacture. Split system and packaged heat pumps manufactured before January 1, 2015 can be sold after January 1, 2015 for as long as inventory exists.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) will issue, and publish on its appliance and equipment standards website, an enforcement policy statement clarifying the agency’s policy for enforcing the Federal Regional Standards for split system air conditioners. The industry will work with the DOE to develop these enforcement standards.

Federal regional efficiency requirements are summarized in the illustration below:

2015 Energy Efficiency Regional HVAC Standards
2015 Energy Efficiency Regional HVAC Standards

The following is from energy.gov:

Split system central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), after January 1, 1992 and before January 23, 2006, and single package central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured after January 1, 1993, and before January 23, 2006, must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(c)(1). This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. They shall have Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factors (HSPF) no less than:

Central Cooling Efficiency Standards
Central Cooling Efficiency Standards

Central air conditioners and central air conditioning heat pumps manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16)on or after January 23, 2006, and before January 1, 2015, must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 430.32(c)(2). They shall have Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios and Heating Seasonal Performance Factors no less than:

2015 Regional HVAC Standards
2015 Cooling Efficiency Standards

There has been much debate over the last several years as to how these energy efficiency regional standards would shake out the hvac industry. Basically, the guideline for regional hvac standards states that 13 SEER equipment or higher must be installed. Heat pump energy efficiency standards are at 14 SEER or higher. These guidelines will take place January 1st, 2015.

At Access Heating, we are committed to staying ahead of the curve with these new regulations and guidelines and will continue to update this article as new developments progress. With these guidelines finally in place, we can now we can move forward as an industry and begin working on implementation!

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