The Department of Energy has confirmed a final rule that would establish regional energy efficiency standards. The decision was one championed by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute.
In announcing the ruling, the DOE
said that “adverse comments received in response to the direct final rule (prescribing
minimum energy efficiency standards for residential furnaces, central air
conditioners, and heat pumps) do not provide a reasonable basis for withdrawing
the direct final rule.”
According to AHRI, the DOE’s
decision means that manufacturers can continue to prepare for the first
implementation date of May 1, 2013, for non-weatherized furnaces.
rule demonstrates what can be accomplished when we work together with industry
and advocacy groups to save energy and improve the environment,” said Stephen
Yurek, AHRI’s president and CEO. “This effort has been underway since 2009, and
we are pleased DOE has made a final decision so we can move forward as an
industry to comply with the new standards.”
The DOE says the
updated air-conditioner, heat pump, and furnace standards will save the nation
between 3.2 and 4.2 quadrillion Btu (quads) of cumulative primary energy
between 2013 and 2045. This is
equivalent to eliminating the need for approximately 3.8 to 3.9 gigawatts of
generating capacity. The new standards are estimated to save U.S. consumers more than $15
billion (in 2009 dollars) between their effective dates and 2045.
members will continue to review the off-mode standards for central air
conditioners and heat pumps that were included in the rule, and will work with the
DOE on the test procedures with which manufacturers can determine
”While we would have preferred the department
sever the off-mode standard from the direct final rule, we will work with DOE
on the test procedure,” said Yurek.
Following the May 1,
2013, effective date for non-weatherized furnaces, the next milestone will be
January 1, 2015, for central air conditioners and heat pumps.