WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it has received the first official submission by a manufacturer to its voluntary challenge for a new generation of high-efficiency cost-effective air conditioners for commercial buildings. DOE will begin testing the new Daikin McQuay “Rebel” rooftop unit from McQuay International to determine whether it meets the high energy-efficiency performance levels outlined by the challenge. The challenge aims to reduce energy use by as much as 50 to 60 percent over current equipment.

“Investing in energy efficient products for commercial buildings and factories is one of the most cost-effective ways for businesses to save money and compete in the global marketplace,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “The Department is proud to have helped bring together buyers and manufacturers to identify these energy saving targets and to make clear the demand for very high performance units. I’m excited to see manufacturers raising the performance bar to meet the genuine demand for energy-saving commercial air conditioners.”

The new performance criteria and challenge were developed through DOE’s Commercial Building Energy Alliance. DOE brought together major U.S. companies representing a significant portion of the U.S. market, to develop new performance criteria for 10-ton capacity commercial rooftop units. Participating companies have shared their intent to purchase equipment that meets the challenge. Entrants to the challenge, including the Daikin McQuay unit initially announced, will undergo testing by DOE in partnership with its Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Commercial buildings currently account for 18 percent of U.S. energy use, said DOE. Nationwide, if all the 10-ton rooftop units currently sold in a given year were built using these criteria, businesses could save about $50 million a year in energy costs.

For more information on the new Daikin McQuay rooftop unit, visit www.mcquay.com.

Publication date: 10/10/2011