WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that three manufacturers must stop distributing 61 heat pump models and one air conditioner model that DOE has determined do not comply with federal energy conservation standards. The manufacturers also must notify all of their customers that have been sold noncompliant units. DOE determined that these models were noncompliant based on certification information submitted to DOE for these manufacturers.

DOE found that Aspen Manufacturing had certified 58 heat pump models and one air conditioner model that fail to meet federal energy efficiency standards by up to 7 percent. DOE also found one heat pump model manufactured by Summit Manufacturing that failed the energy efficiency standards by about 16 percent, and it said two heat pump models manufactured by Advanced Distributor Products (ADP) missed the standard by 1-2 percent. DOE said that, if these companies fail to respond or to notify their customers, the Department of Energy will seek a judicial order to prevent the sale of the noncompliant models.

However, Advanced Distributor Products issued a statement saying that, through a database entry error, ADP incorrectly listed its two heat pump models - both inactive R-22 units - referenced by the DOE as noncompliant. The company said the errors have been corrected and, in fact, both units were compliant at all times with applicable federal energy conservation standards. ADP stated that it fully stands behind the integrity of its certification and rating process.

Data entry errors were also cited by Summit Manufacturing and Aspen Manufacturing. According to Terry Small, CEO of Summit Manufacturing, the combination cited by DOE as noncompliant is not a model sold by his company. “It was a data input error that resulted in a nonsensical combination,” Small said. David Piccione, president of Aspen Manufacturing, said his company is an independent manufacturer of evaporator coils and air handlers and does not sell or distribute the outdoor section of any heat pump or air conditioner. “Aspen inadvertently listed certain combinations of its coils matched with the outdoor units of other OEMs in AHRI’s database, which indicated that the combinations did not meet federal energy efficiency standards,” Piccione said. He stated that the erroneous listings were all deleted as of March 17, 2010, and that his company does not believe any of those 58 heat pump combinations were actually sold or installed. Piccione added, “The air conditioner model combination listed did meet federal standards, but was listed with an erroneous rating due to a data input error.”

Publication date: 06/14/2010