WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced new energy efficiency standards for commercial air conditioners and commercial warm air furnaces that DOE said will save more energy than any other standard issued to date. Over the lifetime of the products, it is estimated that businesses will save $167 billion on their utility bills and carbon pollution will be reduced by 885 million metric tons.
This announcement “marks the largest energy-saving standard in history and demonstrates that America is leading the effort to reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “This rule also shows that strong public-private partnerships can reap environmental and economic dividends and drive technology breakthroughs. These standards are a direct result of the Energy Department’s negotiated rulemaking process which brings diverse stakeholders to the negotiating table and supports industry innovation, demonstrating how government and business can work together to meet U.S. carbon reduction goals.”
These new commercial air conditioning and furnace standards will occur in two phases. The first phase will begin in 2018 and will deliver a 13 percent efficiency improvement in products. Five years later, an additional 15 percent increase in efficiency is required for new commercial units.
Commercial air conditioners, also known as rooftop units, are commonly used in low-rise buildings such as schools, restaurants, big-box stores, and small office buildings. They cool about half of the total commercial floor space in the United States.
To finalize this standard, DOE worked with 17 stakeholders, including major industry organizations, such as the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), along with some of the nation’s leading manufacturers, utilities, and efficiency organizations.
Publication date: 12/18/2015