Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Contracting Business/Kelly Faloon
Endeavor Business Media
Contracting Business/Kelly FAloon
Kelly L. Falloon
Guidance on new standards at ASHRAEs 2015 Winter Conference Jan 2428

New 2015 Regional Standards and Effects on HVAC Industry Highlighted in Free ASHRAE Session

Jan. 12, 2015
The New Year ushered in new regional federal efficiency standards for residential split system and packaged central air conditioners.

The New Year ushered in new regional federal efficiency standards for residential split system and packaged central air conditioners. Guidance on how to meet those standards will be shared during a free session at ASHRAE’s 2015 Winter Conference, Jan. 24-28, in Chicago.

The rationale for these standards is that the United States climate varies enormously; higher standards that save money in Mobile may not save as much in Minneapolis. Regional standards ensure that we can get as much cost-effective efficiency as possible, evaluating the cost effectiveness more appropriately for different locales. The standards took effect Jan. 1, 2015, although there are grace periods before enforcement will start.

Speakers will discuss these new standards during the free AHR Expo Session, New 2015 Regional Standards and the Effects on Different Areas of the HVAC Industry, which takes place from 3-4:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26, at the AHR Expo, McCormick Place, room S106a. No badge is required to attend.

In January 2010, manufacturers represented by the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) reached a consensus with efficiency advocates on a proposal to adopt regional standards. Through negotiation with other parts of the HVAC&R industry, a draft standard was developed with different required efficiencies for air conditioning using split system and packaged air conditioners in each of three geographic regions. The consensus was adopted by the U.S. Department of Energy DOE as a Direct Final Rule in January 2011.

For the first time, federal regulations are based on installation date as well as date of manufacture, so new regional standards affect what distributors and contractors can sell and what consumers can purchase. The Expo Session explores the new rule from the perspectives of experts involved in its origin, evolution and implementation. 

The session is moderated by Kristin Heinemeier, University of California at Davis. Harvey Sachs, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, will outline the responsibilities of all parties as a result of the Negotiated Rulemaking on Enforcement of Regional Standards in summer 2014, which is being codified by DOE. The new Rule, coupled with a revised FTC “Yellow Label,” should give the best possible outcome for all parties trying to achieve efficiency and do business.

Karim Amrane, Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute and a negotiator of the regional agreement, will explain the manufacturer’s perspective, including new burdens for data tracking and retention. 

Distributors face some significant changes in how they do business, to be discussed by Ted Duffy from Hughes Supply, Savannah, Georgia. Even with the 18 month enforcement delay, distributors worry about making effective business decisions in a new environment. Areas in which distribution crosses regional boundaries, and who is responsible for violations, are major concerns. 

Harlan Krepcik, Tidewater Community College, Portsmouth, Virginia, will offer the contractor’s perspective, focusing on compliance, liability, and cash flow forecasting and growth planning. New record-keeping and information disclosure requirements may help the reputable contractor, particularly if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) changes the label to appropriately support the regional standards. 

The Conference takes place at the Palmer House Hilton, while the ASHRAE co-sponsored AHR Expo is held Jan. 26-28, McCormick Place. Complete Conference information and registration can be found at

The Technical Program begins Sunday, Jan. 25, and offers over 200 Professional Development Hours, as well as Continuing Education Units, which can be applied toward a Professional Engineering license.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a global society advancing human well-being through sustainable technology for the built environment.