DOE pushes new rules for rooftop AC

The Department of Energy (DOE) is looking at new efficiency standards for rooftop air conditioning and heating units that are commonly used on apartment buildings.

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DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced Monday in the Federal Register it is looking at new rules for small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air conditioning and heating equipment, though the rules could cost manufacturers more than $300 million.

The DOE is pushing for high-efficiency rooftop air conditioning and heating units that are commonly used to regulate the temperature at apartment buildings, as well as office buildings and warehouses.

The move comes as part of a recent energy-savings push by DOE to make commercial and household appliances more efficient. The agency has issued new rules for refrigerators, dishwashers, ceiling fans, furnaces, boilers, water heaters, lamps and many more appliances.

But DOE hasn't tackled rooftop air conditioning and heating units since 2005, the agency said.

The new rules would cost industry between $88 million and $311 million in compliance costs, DOE estimates.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rule.