“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 air conditioners, also known as rooftop units or RTUs. Participating companies have shared their intent to purchase equipment that meets the challenge. Entrants to the challenge, including the Daikin McQuay unit, will undergo testing by the department in partnership with its Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Lab.
Commercial buildings currently account for 18 percent of U.S. energy use. Nationwide, if all the 10-ton commercial units currently sold in a given year were built using these criteria, businesses could save about $50 million a year in energy costs, said the DOE.
Publication date: 10/24/2011