HVAC manufacturers group the AHRI is applauding the Feb. 27 introduction of a bipartisan Senate energy-efficiency bill.

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act is sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). It includes an amendment dealing with large-capacity water heaters used in thermal storage sought by the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. It establishes an exemption to standards due to go into effect in April 2015.

“AHRI applauds the leadership of Senators Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.), who introduced an amendment that will allow our members to continue manufacturing water heaters for demand response programs, an important component of long term energy savings,” said association President and CEO Stephen Yurek.

A second amendment dealing with the HVAC market requires the U.S. Energy Department to recognize industry certification programs for some products, such as those administered by AHRI. Under the amendment the AHRI would provide an annual report to the Energy Department.

“These amendments, and the bill itself, are a fine example of industry and environmental advocates coming together for the good of the country and the HVACR and water heating manufacturing industry, which contributes more than one million jobs to the economy,” Yurek added.