As part of the final determination as to how the new air conditioning efficiency standards will be enforced, the Department of Energy-appointed “Regional Standards Enforcement Working Group” has made their recommendation on an enforcement plan for the new regional efficiency standards. The proposal should clear up some confusion about compliance, but will still need to be approved and will likely be approved by a committee to complete the formal rulemaking process.
The following is a simple summary of the enforcement policy outlined in the recommendation.
Compliant Product (14 SEER) in the Southeast & Southwest Regions is now defined as:
- Least efficient rating combination for a specified model of condensing unit must be 14 SEER.
- Least efficient rating combination for a specified model of condensing unit must meet minimum EER requirement in the Southwest region.
- Any condensing unit model that has a certified combination that is below the regional standard cannot be installed in the region.
- A condensing unit model certified below a regional standard by the OEM cannot be installed in a region subject to regional standard(s) even with an Independent Coil Manufacturer (ICM) indoor coil or air handler combination that may have a certified rating meeting the applicable regional standard.
All contractors are required to retain records of installations in the Southeast and Southwest regions as described below (includes both split system central air conditioners and single packaged air conditioners):
- System manufacturer, model and serial number
- indoor coil or air handler: manufacturer and model number
- location of the installation (including street address, city, state, and zip code)
- date of the installation; and
- party from whom the unit was purchased, including company or individual’s name, full address and phone number.
- All records should be retained for 48 months.
Contractors may violate the standard by doing the following:
- Knowingly sell to and/or install for an end user a central air conditioner subject to regional standards with the knowledge that such product shall be installed in violation of any regional standard applicable to the product.
A product is installed in violation if:
- Complete system installed is not certified as a complete system that meets the applicable standard.
- Replacement outdoor unit is not certified as part of a combination that meets the applicable standard.
- Outdoor unit installed has a certified combination less than standard applicable in region.
We welcome any additional questions you might have in the comments section below.