|In This Issue|
|Working Groups Recruiting on AHRI Connect|
Several new communities are recruiting new
members on AHRI Connect. Visit the Communities
page to learn more and join.
|Upcoming Standards Meetings|
||Please check our calendar for the latest events.|
|AHRTI Publishes Phase I Refrigerant Sensor Report, Begins Phases II & III|
AHRTI Project 9014, Refrigerant Detector Characteristics for Use in HVACR Equipment, is assessing refrigerant sensor and refrigerant detector performance requirements for A2L refrigerants, and the capability of currently commercially available refrigerant detectors to meet the requirements of the major refrigerating system safety standards.
In the recently published Phase I report, contractor Creative Thermal Solutions (CTS) summarized existing and proposed requirements for refrigerant detectors in major safety standards, and evaluated 11 sensors against the requirements. Six sensors with four different sensing principles – including Micro Machined Membrane, Non-Dispersive Infra-Red, and Thermal Conductivity and Metal Oxide Semiconductor – were selected for the experimental assessment. Testing included step-change tests and time-varying tests under the typical leakage scenarios.
Under AHRI members’ guidance, CTS will assess and develop test
protocols and conduct testing to assess the reliability and robustness of refrigerant
sensors in the next two phases of the program. A kick-off meeting between the
AHRTI Project Monitoring Subcommittee and CTS was held on April 8. Contact: Xudong Wang.
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|AHRI Membership to Introduce New Services System|
Beginning April 27, AHRI will add Membership Services to the
ticketing system already providing customer support to AHRI
Directory, iSTARS, ACS, and data Subscribers. The addition of Membership
Services to the FreshDesk ticketing system is another step toward providing
AHRI members with a centralized customer service experience while ensuring
efficient communication among members and AHRI. The ticketing system features
an option for users to access all submitted tickets, including status and
history of responses between the user and AHRI. The ticketing system will allow
users to request assistance with AHRI accounts and company rosters, AHRI
Connect, sales volume forms and membership dues, as well as initiate the
process for becoming an AHRI member, and more. The email address email@example.com will no longer be in service, and all requests to Membership Services should be made
through the ticketing system that will be available from www.ahrinet.org. Contact: Betz Rother.
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|Legislative and Regulatory|
|Appeals Court Rules Again on EPA SNAP Rules|
The United States
Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit again weighed-in this week on the status of
the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA's) SNAP Rules 20 and 21.
In a 2-1 decision
handed down April 7, a panel of the Court ruled in a case brought by the
Natural Resources Defense Council that a 2018 Notification of Guidance
published in the Federal Register by the EPA was procedurally
inappropriate because it constituted a rulemaking and therefore required a
period of notice and comment, which the EPA had not provided.
The court agreed
that the original case, Mexichem Fluor v. EPA, required only a partial
vacatur, not an elimination, of the requirements of SNAP Rules 20 and 21.
Because the 2018 Guidance went farther than was required by the decision in Mexichem,
the court held that it was in fact a rulemaking, and not merely a response to a
court order. "Rules" (per the
legal definition) must only be promulgated pursuant to notice-and-comment,
(unless a narrow exception applies). Therefore, the Court held, because this
"rule" was not promulgated pursuant to notice and comment, it must be
Not all agency
actions are "rules" requiring notice and comment, however. The Court
found that the EPA could have chosen to follow other procedural options, such
as petitioning for rehearing after the Mexichem decision, issuing an
interpretive rule to explain its understanding of the Mexichem decision,
or exercising its enforcement discretion. It also could have resolved
difficult cases by adjudication, or even invoked a good cause exemption. But,
because the EPA issued the 2018 Guidance in the Federal Register without
notice-and-comment, the court vacated the 2018 Guidance.
Where does this
leave AHRI Members? On one hand, the 2018 Guidance that vacated SNAP Rules 20
and 21 has been vacated, reversing history and putting those rules back on the
books as viable regulations. On the other hand, the decision made clear
that the Court feels its prior decision in Mexichem is still good law,
and that the EPA lacks authority to require those that had already transitioned
from ODSs to replace the HFCs that they were using in 2015. The court confirmed
the regulatory requirements of SNAP Rules 20 and 21 cannot be eliminated
wholesale, but that the EPA also cannot require businesses to replace an HFC
with a substitute. The path forward is unclear, and AHRI staff will be
consulting with legal experts and conferring with the EPA in the coming days
and weeks to obtain some clarification.
In the interim,
however, the ruling makes it clear that Congressional action on this issue (in
the form of the AIM Act (Senate) and the AIM Leadership Act (House) is more
important than ever. Contact: Caroline Davidson-Hood.
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|Yurek Provides Testimony on Senate HFC Bill|
In written testimony to the Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee, AHRI CEO Stephen Yurek stressed that when Congress, through
the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act (S. 2754), establishes a
national structure to phase down the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons
(HFCs), the result will be job creation and trade benefits while ensuring the
continued availability of the chemicals for those industries and applications
for which no viable alternative is currently available. More information
on the AIM Act is available here.
Yurek stressed that the phase down structure created by the bill would not
affect equipment currently installed in homes and businesses nor HFC
availability for current or future necessary
applications. "Importantly, the AIM Act does not prohibit the use of
existing equipment, which consumers and business owners remain free to use
through the equipment's lifetime, nor does it mandate the purchase of new
equipment," Yurek stated. "HFCs also will remain available for
servicing and maintenance for decades, due to the 15 percent tail at the end of
the phase down period and from the provisions in the AIM Act that enhance the
recovery, recycling, and reclaim of used HFCs," he added. He noted
that the industry has invested "several billion dollars in R&D"
for next generation refrigerants and seeks "an orderly transition"
from HFCs to next-generation refrigerants to create "certainty, stability
and predictability" for manufacturers as they create "...33,000 new
jobs...$12.5 billion in direct manufacturing output, [a] positive swing in the
balance of trade, and [a] 25 percent boost in exports." Contact: Francis
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|Standards and Certification|
|AHRI Launches CEC API for Several Certification Programs|
week AHRI will launch the application programming interface for the California
Energy Commission (CEC) reporting process affecting the following certification
programs: commercial and residential boilers, direct heating equipment, heat
pump pool heaters, and packaged terminal air conditioners. The API will
transmit changed or new records automatically to the CEC every Wednesday,
whereas the old process was executed manually once per month. AHRI plans to introduce
this feature for all programs over the next several weeks. Contact: Emily Davis.
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|Unitary Small Heating Certification Programs to Include International Ratings|
plans to add international ratings functionality to the unitary small heating
certification programs on April 27. This change will involve additional fields
in the add/edit template and view/download exports, some of which will be
published across all search features. Further details will be available in
subsequent weekly updates via AHRI Connect. In addition, Austin Kim and Bridge Xue are working closely with
manufacturers to provide advance notice of template changes. Contact: Emily Davis.
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|ASHRAE SSPC 62.2 to Consider New Proposal in June|
In March 2017, a
proposal was submitted to ASHRAE SSPC 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings,
that would have effectively banned the installation of vent-free appliances in
homes designated as 62.2 compliant. It established criteria that were more
stringent than the existing ASHRAE Position Document on Unvented Combustion,
and included an equation that used maximum input with no cycling provisions or
consideration of temperature and human comfort. While many comments were
submitted on this proposal, as well as on a second proposal, they were not
properly considered and resolved in accordance with the ASHRAE procedures and
ANSI Essential Requirements.
Following an official
repeal and rejection of the proposal by the ASHRAE Board of Directors, the
Standards Committee established an ad hoc working group consisting of members
from the Standards Committee, the SSPC, and the vent-free industry. With
assistance from the Vent-Free Alliance, the working group recently approved a
new proposal that includes cycling and thermostatic controls as well as information
from the ASHRAE Position Document on Unvented Combustion Devices and Indoor
Air Quality. It will be submitted to the SSPC for consideration during its
June 2020 meeting. Contact: Shannon Corcoran.
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|AHRI Submits Comments to Brazil and Egypt on Draft Energy Efficiency Standards|
AHRI submitted comments (in English and Portuguese) April 3 to the Brazilian National Institute of Metrology, Quality, and Technology (INMETRO) on its draft Resolution 01 from January 27, regarding conformity assessment requirements for air conditioners (mini splits). AHRI commended Brazil for its efforts to set minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and recommended that the draft include a reference to AHRI Testing and Rating Standard 210/240-2017, Performance Rating of Unitary Air Conditioning& Air-Source Heat Pump Equipment.
On April 6, AHRI submitted comments to the Egyptian Organization for Standardization and Quality Control concerning the draft revision of Egyptian Standard ES 5149-2 for commercial refrigerating appliances, including refrigerated display cabinets and cold rooms. AHRI also commended Egypt for its efforts to set MEPS and recommended that the nation consider referencing AHRI standard 1200 (I-P/2013), Performance Rating of Commercial Refrigerated Display Merchandisers and Storage Cabinets. Contact: MichaelLaGiglia.
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