Regional Standards Update Yesterday, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the formation of a Regional Standards Enforcement Working Group. This group will begin meeting in August with the goal of producing a satisfactory enforcement solution by October 31. The proposal would then be made available for public comment, meaning an enforcement plan is not likely to be finalized until 2015. This working group may address a broad range of issues related to the implementation and enforcement of the new standard. HARDI will be represented on the Working Group by Government Affairs Co-Chair Steve Porter (Johnstone Supply).
As we continue to approach the January 1, 2015 implementation of Regional Efficiency Standards for Central Air-Conditioners, specific questions continue to be asked regarding compliance. HARDI is determined to provide membership with the best information available, but would like to remind members that there are ongoing regulatory efforts underway which may alter the answers to these questions.
Question 1: Will a 13-SEER condensing unit, matched properly with an indoor unit to deliver 14-SEER, be a compliant product in the south and southwest? Answer 1: Yes. Until the Department of Energy and the Federal Trade Commission make changes to existing policy, 13 SEER condensing units will be able to be shipped and installed in the south and southwest regions when matched with an indoor unit that increases the efficiency to 14 SEER or above.
Question 2: In the aforementioned scenario, must that 13-SEER condensing unit be manufactured by December 31, 2014 to be legally installed? Answer 2: No. The SEER minimums apply to the "system" (i.e., matched indoor and outdoor units) and not to the condensing unit. This means that any matched system meeting 14 SEER can be sold in the south even if the condensing unit can be matched with some coils to produce 13 SEER. This is true even for condensing units manufactured after 1/1/2015. The grace period of 18 months applies to all matched combinations below 14 SEER. In this case, the condensing unit must be manufactured prior to 1/1/2015.
Question 3: Will 13-SEER dry charged condensing units manufactured on or after January 1, 2015 be legal for installation in the south and southwest? Answer 3: Due to confusion and uncertainty, HARDI has asked DOE for guidance on this issue. DOE has acknowledge receipt of this question and HARDI will notify members when we receive an answer. This is an issue that may be addressed in the forthcoming Regional Standards Enforcement Working Group.