The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute is being honored for its work to help establish regional efficiency standards across the country.

The institute has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Super Nova of Energy Efficiency Award from the Alliance to Save Energy.

AHRI members and staff negotiated an agreement that would, for the first time, establish regional efficiency standards for furnaces, heat pumps and central air conditioners.

Under the agreement, most of which was adopted by the U.S. Department of Energy, furnaces in the northern U.S. would have a minimum efficiency standard higher than that for furnaces in the South and Southwest. Similarly, central air conditioners in those areas would have a higher minimum efficiency standard than the Northern states.

The award also recognizes AHRI’s work in negotiating agreements that would establish a new federal minimum standard for heat pump pool heaters, revise standards for service-over-the-counter commercial refrigerators, and require the Energy Department to conduct rule-making to determine if a change is necessary for its water heater test procedure.

“We are honored to have been selected for this award,” said AHRI President and CEO Stephen Yurek. “The majority of the credit for this honor goes to our member companies, several of whom were diligent and instrumental in crafting the agreements cited in the award announcement. We are gratified that our approach of constructive engagement with our friends in the energy efficiency advocacy community is being recognized and encouraged in such a manner.”

The Alliance to Save Energy will present the award to AHRI at its Oct. 4 dinner with the Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards gala in Washington, D.C. AHRI Chairman Morrison Carter is to accept the award on behalf of the association’s 309 member companies.