9 June 2017
DOE Confirms Need to Comply with Tougher Energy Conservation Standards for Ceiling Fans, Other Products
The U.S. Department of Energy has confirmed that the stricter mandatory energy efficiency standards issued in October 2016 or January 2017 for ceiling fans, miscellaneous refrigeration products, dedicated-purpose pool pumps, and residential central air conditioners and heat pumps will enter into force as originally stipulated. The DOE made that decision after determining that the comments received in response to its review of the relevant final rules do not provide a reasonable basis for withdrawing any of the rules.
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act defines a ceiling fan as a non-portable device suspended from a ceiling for circulating air via the rotation of fan blades. Included in the coverage of the new standards are hugger fans (set flush to the ceiling) and fans capable of producing large volumes of airflow. Excluded are belt-driven ceiling fans, centrifugal ceiling fans, oscillating ceiling fans, ceiling fans whose blades’ plane of rotation cannot be within 45 degrees of horizontal, or highly decorative fans. Compliance with the new standards for these products will be required as of 21 January 2020.
Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products
The new standards cover four product classes of coolers and nine product classes of combination cooler refrigeration products. The DOE has said that these requirements correspond to the recommendations submitted jointly by interested persons that are fairly representative of relevant points of view. Compliance with these standards will be required as of 28 October 2019.
Dedicated-purpose pool pumps include self-priming pool filter pumps, non-self-priming pool filter pumps, waterfall pumps, pressure cleaner booster pumps, integral sand filter pool pumps, integral cartridge filter pool pumps, storable electric spa pumps and rigid electric spa pumps. Compliance with the new standards for these products will be required as of 19 July 2021.
ACs and Heat Pumps
The EPCA defines a central air conditioner as a product other than a packaged terminal air conditioner that is powered by single phase electric current, air cooled, rated below 65,000 Btu per hour, not contained within the same cabinet as a furnace, the rated capacity of which is about 225,000 Btu per hours, and that is a heat pump or a cooling only unit. The EPCA defines a heat pump as a product other than a packaged terminal heat pump that consists of one or more assemblies, powered by single phase electric current, rated below 65,000 Btu per hour, utilising an indoor conditioning coil, compressor and refrigerant-to-outdoor air heat exchanger to provide air heating, and that may also provide air cooling, dehumidifying, humidifying circulating and air cleaning. Compliance with the new standards for these products will be required as of 1 January 2023.
In related news, the DOE is seeking comments and information by 14 July identifying existing regulations, paperwork requirements and other regulatory obligations that can be modified or repealed, consistent with law, to achieve meaningful burden reduction while continuing to fulfil the DOE’s statutory obligations. This request for public input was issued pursuant to President Trump’s 30 January executive order aimed at lessening the overall regulatory burden on the U.S. private sector and streamlining what he views as an oversized Washington bureaucracy.