DOE Proposes Major Energy Efficiency Changes for Commercial Air Conditioners

By Duane Tilden, P.Eng

The White House recently announced a number of commitments to energy efficiency, not the least of which is a proposed energy efficiency standard for rooftop air conditioners that could produce the largest electricity savings under any U.S. appliance efficiency…

image courtesy of http://akbrown.com/?page_id=278

Source: switchboard.nrdc.org

>”[…] NRDC strongly applauds today’s White House’s efficiency and clean energy announcements which come the same week that a new energy-savings standard became effective for refrigerators and freezers, with the majority of models cutting their energy use by 20 to 25 percent, thanks to a 2010 consensus recommendation to the Department of Energy (DOE) from refrigerator manufacturers, efficiency advocates, consumer groups and states.

According to the White House, the rooftop air conditioner proposed standard announced would help cut carbon pollution by more than 60 million metric tons, and could save consumers nearly $10 billion on their energy bills through 2030.  […]

The announcement follows significant groundwork by DOE in this product category, including DOE’s High Performance Rooftop Unit Challenge, a competition among manufacturers to produce efficient cooling units that cut their energy use almost in half and are still affordable in the commercial and industrial real estate space. DOE worked with members of its Commercial Building Energy Alliances (CBEA), which includes many large commercial building owners, to create a challenge specification that rooftop air conditioning manufacturers could meet. As part of the challenge, CBEA members, including Target, Walmart, Macy’s and McDonald’s, expressed strong interest in potentially purchasing high-efficiency roof-top units, helping to drive buyer support for the challenge levels. Manufacturers Daikin, McQuay and Carrier succeeded in producing rooftop ACs that met the challenge specifications and resulted in substantial energy reductions.

Also included in today’s announcement are further savings from building energy codes. DOE will issue its final determination that the latest commercial building energy code – ASHRAE 90.1-2013 – saves energy compared to the previous version. Once DOE issues a positive determination that the new code saves energy compared to the previous code, individual states will consider the code for adoption leading to energy savings in new buildings and major retrofits in those states. DOE will also issue its preliminary determination on the latest residential energy-saving building code – the IECC 2015. DOE estimates that the updated commercial building standards will reduces energy bills for states and the federal government, while cutting emissions by 230 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2030.  […]“<

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