The AHRI says a small change in a Senate bill dealing with the controversial XL oil pipeline project means a lot to the HVAC market manufacturing group.

An amendment sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H) and Rob Portman (R-OH) fixed language that affected the water heater efficiency HVAC sales standard set to go into effect April 16.

The amendment creates a separate product category for thermal storage water heaters, aka grid-enabled water heaters, which are large electric storage water heaters utilities can control to minimize operation during times of high-grid demand.

The issue was an important one for the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute, which represents most major makers of HVAC market equipment.

"Sens. Shaheen and Portman have explored almost a half-dozen legislative methods to correct this regulatory mistake," said association President and CEO Stephen Yurek. "Their relentless efforts have helped manufacturers and electric co-ops move closer and closer to maintaining the manufacturing jobs, electricity load management benefit, and reduced consumer utility bills that these water heaters represent."