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Input Sought on Potential Amended Energy Standards for ACs and Heat Pumps

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking input from interested parties by 22 August to help the agency determine whether amended standards for certain classes of variable refrigerant flow multi-split air conditioners and heat pumps, which are a type of commercial and industrial equipment, would result in significant energy savings and whether such standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified.

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 requires the DOE to evaluate and assess whether there is a need to update its energy conservation standards following changes to the relevant industry consensus standards in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Standard 90.1. Additionally, under EPCA the DOE must review its standards for this equipment at least once every six years and publish either a notice of proposed rulemaking to propose new standards for VRFs or a notice of determination that the existing standards do not need to be amended.

Separately, the DOE has partially accepted a petition to proceed with an interpretative rule to provide the public additional information about the agency’s interpretation of certain provisions in the context of condensing versus non-condensing furnaces and water heaters. According to the DOE, the proposed interpretative rule does not change or revise any current policies or legal requirements with respect to residential furnaces and commercial water heaters and decisions about whether and how this interpretation will apply to existing products/equipment utilising condensing/non-condensing technology will be the subject of subsequent actions. Comments on this action may be submitted by 9 September.

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