The Jan. 25 ruling was a victory for the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute and other industry groups, which claimed federal law governing the manufacture of heating and cooling equipment overrode ability of Albuquerque, N.M., to set its own performance standards.
A U.S. district court has upheld a ruling that
Albuquerque, N.M., violated federal preemption rules when it included higher HVAC
efficiency standards in its 2007 building codes.
The Jan. 25 ruling by Judge Martha Vazquez was a victory for
Heating and Refrigeration Institute and other industry groups, which claimed
federal law governing the manufacture of heating and cooling equipment overrode
ability of the city to set its own performance standards.
are gratified that Judge Vazquez agreed with AHRI that regardless of
intentions, the law must be followed,” said AHRI attorney Joseph Mattingly.
“Our member companies produce very energy-efficient equipment and are at the
forefront of popular efforts to curb energy use, but we have maintained all
through this case that federal law is very clear, and we are happy that the
judge agreed with us. We look forward to continuing to provide highly efficient
heating, cooling, commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment to
people in Albuquerque and around the world.”
AHRI is a trade association representing most of the major makers of HVAC
equipment. Association President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Yurek said
Albuquerque acted prematurely.
is not opposed to using building codes to better enable installation of highly
efficient equipment in new construction,” Yurek said. “In fact, we negotiated
an agreement with energy-efficiency advocates that would allow states and
localities to use building codes to do just that, but we need Congress to pass
legislation to make that happen. We are working very hard on Capitol Hill to ensure
this gets done this year.”