White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus recently issued a memorandum declaring a government-wide hold on both new and pending HVAC regulations before they can be published in the Federal Register. HVAC professionals, especially the ACCA, are happy to hear the news. The freeze, they say, has allotted time for further review and discussion of installation and regulation problems that have resulted from past efficiency regulations. ACCA senior vice president for government regulations Barton James stated the “freeze allows ACCA the opportunity to further help the new administration to better understand how critical it is that future HVAC efficiency regulations must address the installation problems that are rampant in the industry”. But not everyone is happy about the new administration issuing a freeze on the latest efficiency regulations.
According to the DOE, the new standards for walk-in coolers are estimated to save 90 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity over 30 years of sales. They estimate the standards could save businesses up to $3 billion, and up to $9 billion when combined with standards introduced in 2014. One of the primary concerns of not implementing these regulations is that it would result in higher costs for consumers.
Before the Obama administration, portable air conditioners were not subject to energy efficiency regulations. New regulations for portable AC units hope to improve efficiency, save money for consumers, and ultimately reduce energy waste. The frozen standards would also force manufacturers to use standard rating methods to provide information on cooling capacity and efficiency for consumers.
The newly proposed standards would also impact commercial boiler efficiency. Presently commercial boilers require an efficiency rating of 77-84%. That number, however, would move up to 81-88% should the regulations be approved for publishing in the Federal Register. This could potentially result in up to $2 billion savings nationwide. However, the DOE is stressing the importance of whether or not it is either economically or technologically possible on behalf of manufacturers.
To learn more about the hold on new HVAC regulations, read this article from Achrnews.com.