Regulatory Developments

New AC Standards to Take Effect

In a direct final rule, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy (DOE) has promulgated amended energy efficiency standards for small, large, and very large air-cooled commercial package air-conditioning and heating equipment and commercial warm air furnaces.

Commercial air conditioners, also known as rooftop units, commonly ventilate low-rise buildings such as schools, restaurants, big-box stores, and small office buildings. They cool about half the total commercial floor space in the United States.

The new standards will take effect in two phases. The first phase begins in 2018 and will deliver a 13 percent efficiency improvement in products. Five years later, an additional 15 percent increase in efficiency is required for new commercial units.

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