WASHINGTON - Congress passed and President Bush has signed into law the new energy bill, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Although the legislation will increase the supply of alternative fuel sources and improve vehicle fuel economy to help reduce U.S. dependence on oil, it includes regional efficiency standards on residential heating and cooling equipment that were opposed by a national coalition of HVACR distributors and contractors.

According to a statement from the White House, “The Act amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to prescribe or revise standards affecting regional efficiency for heating and cooling products.”

The HVACR industry coalition, including the Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC), had stated that it opposed regional standards because of the added production, logistics, and enforcement costs required to implement such a format.

Although the new law allows the Secretary of Energy to implement regional standards, PHCC noted that this is not expected to impact the industry for some time because of the slow rule-making process.

Publication date:12/17/2007