A group of HVAC equipment makers, contractors and distributors is challenging an attempt by Albuquerque, N.M., to impose its own equipment efficiency standards.
Heating and Refrigeration Institute, the Heating, Airconditioning and
Refrigeration Distributors International, the Air Conditioning Contractors of
America, and 11 local HVAC distributors and contractors filed suit July 3 in
the 10th U.S. District Court. The suit alleges that Albuquerque lacks the right
to set its own standards for residential and commercial heating and
air-conditioning equipment under federal law.
passed an ordinance last year that requires air conditioners installed in new
or existing structures to have at least a 14 seasonal energy-efficiency rating
- one point higher than the federal minimum - and residential furnaces to have
a 90 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency rating. Current federal law
requires a 78 percent efficiency rating.
generally ban state and local regulation of the energy efficiency of these
products, unless a waiver has been granted by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The suit says the city of Albuquerque has not asked for a waiver.
Groups challenge city rules in court
October 1, 2008