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    rooftop air conditioning units

    Emerson Survey: Are HVACR Contractors Preparing for 2023 Efficiency Requirements?

    Jan. 20, 2022
    Forty-four percent of contractors surveyed have yet to make plans to take action in response to these upcoming regulations.

    Sidney, Ohio – A majority of HVACR contractors recently surveyed by Emerson say they are famiiar with the coming regulation changes in 2023, but not even half have taken steps to prepare for the changes.

    Emerson asked HVAC contractors and wholesalers about their knowledge of and preparation for increasing federal minimum SEER/IEER efficiency requirements mandated for air conditioning systems and heat pumps by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in January 2023. The survey found that about 87 percent of HVAC professionals are familiar with the regulation changes coming in 2023 regarding the minimum SEER/IEER central air conditioning and rooftop unit efficiency standards. However, nearly half of respondents --44 percent --  said they have yet to make plans to take action in response to these upcoming regulations.

    Awareness Good, Need More Action

    “We are one year away from these new residential and commercial AC energy efficiency regulations taking effect, as well as alternative refrigerants requirements starting as early as 2025 in California, so it is encouraging to see that a large majority of contractors and wholesalers are becoming more aware of what will be a major change for the industry,” said Jennifer Butsch, director of regulatory affairs, Emerson.

    “During this time, we recognize that education is a top concern for HVAC
    contractors and their service people, so as a trusted partner we will continue to provide information and resources for the industry as we work through this transition together.”

    According to the survey, more than 60 percent of respondents said their daily operations had been affected by the standards, yet only about 30 percent of companies have taken any sort of action to prepare for these changes. In comments provided with the survey, contractors and wholesalers stated that they believe these increasing minimum standards will bring increased costs, changes in equipment and additional training for their companies.

    Similar to last year’s survey, when asked about the requirement to begin using lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants as early as January 2025, nearly all respondents (93 percent) were aware of the requirement to begin using lower GWP refrigerants, and most (61 percent) claim to have at least a basic understanding of the requirements. On the topic of sustainability, nearly all respondents (94 percent) said sustainability was at least somewhat important to
    them, and more than half (56 percent) said it was of significant importance.

    According to the survey, trade publications (53 percent) and industry organizations (31 percent) were the top sources of information on regulatory changes. Other sources respondents found helpful included tradeshows such as the AHR Expo, as well as training materials, webinars and influencer channels.

    Props to Emerson

    Additionally, more than half of the respondents (58 percent) said they view Emerson as a trusted partner. More than half also said Emerson’s Copeland products utilize the latest technology. Emerson continues to invest in advancing its testing capabilities to deliver solutions that will help meet the demands for more efficient, regulation-ready technologies.

    For more information on HVACR industry regulations and how to get regulation ready, download Emerson’s latest energy efficiency eBook and refrigerants eBook.