New energy efficiency standards are once again in our midst. 2023 brings about higher efficiency standards for residential central air conditioning and heat pump equipment, designed to reduce the overall energy usage of space heating and cooling equipment in homes and small businesses across the US. Manufacturers are currently working on redesigns of equipment to meet these new efficiency requirements and we are likely to begin to see new products emerging ahead of the 2023 transition date.
Regional territories will remain the same as they are today with federal minimums effectively increasing by one SEER in all regions (North, South, Southwest) on January 1, 2023. One important difference for contractors to pay attention to are the differences in compliance requirements. For those doing business in the southern regions, systems installed after this date must comply with the new minimums. For contractors doing business in the north, compliance is determined by manufacturing date, allowing sell-through of 13 SEER inventory. Another important change contractors in all regions will need to be prepared for is the migration to new metrics (SEER2, EER2, and HSPF2). DOE modified the test procedure to better reflect field conditions, which resulted in an adjustment to the metrics we use today. The differences can be seen in the tables below.
What does this mean for you as a Contractor?
Regional requirements will continue. If you do business in multiple regions, it is important to understand the different federal minimum efficiency levels and compliance requirements of either install date (south regions) or manufacturing date (north). New equipment is likely to emerge ahead of 2023, but products and tiering are largely expected to be similar to today’s equipment. Fixed, two-stage, and variable speed systems are expected to still be offered in various tiering strategies. Always know the future regulations and how it might affect you. Familiarity with the new residential energy efficiency metrics (SEER2, EER2, HSPF2) will enable better communication to customers regarding these changes.