Energy weighs impact of looming efficiency regs

Just two months before energy efficiency standards for residential central air conditioning and heat pump systems are expected to take effect, the Department of Energy (DOE) is deciding whether to rewrite the rules.

The DOE last updated the regulations for these household appliances in 2011, amending standards for products manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2015.

Though the department has until June 6, 2017, to issue new standards, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy issued a public notice Tuesday asking for help determining if new rules are needed.

The office wants to know if new standards would save significantly more energy, be technologically feasible and economically justified.

The agency is looking for input on the forthcoming standards for split system air conditioners, split system heat pumps, single-package air conditioners, single-package heat pumps, small duct, high velocity (SDHV) systems, space-constrained air conditioners and space-constrained heat pumps.

The public has 30 days to give input on mark-up costs, installation costs, whether enough commercial buildings are using residential central air conditions and heat pumps to warrant commercial regulation and baseline and max-tech efficiency levels.