Act would change depreciation period on commercial refrigeration systems.

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Cool and Efficient Buildings Act, which would change the depreciation period for any part of an HVAC or commercial refrigeration system from 39 to 20 years, has the support of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. The act was recently re-introduced in Congress by U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.).

The legislation targets systems that have been installed on or in a building considered nonresidential property. According to ARI, the act would provide an incentive for the replacement of more than 36,000 chillers still in use last year that use chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants.

"This represents 45 percent of the original 80,000 CFC chillers banned from production in the United States," said Hoekstra. "Improved, new chiller units are 40 percent more efficient than those installed 20 years ago, are virtually leak free, reducing loss of refrigerant and improving the protection to human health and the environment."

Hoekstra has already garnered support of 25 co-sponsors, including bipartisan members of the House Ways and Means Committee. ARI is reaching out to its members to support the bill.

"ARI strongly urges its members to support the Cool and Efficient Buildings Act," said William G. Sutton, president of ARI. "A depreciation schedule that reflects the useful life of chillers and other equipment will save money, reduce energy consumption and encourage investment in more efficient models."