Understanding New Energy Star & CEE Tiers

The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and Energy Star have issued new guidelines for Efficiency Tiers for residential single phase air conditioner and heat pump equipment to better align with the Department of Energy’s new regional standards that went into effect in Jan. 2015.   This is important because the CEE publishes specification tiers of increasing efficiency that help program administrators like utilities and local government agencies target their efficiency rebate programs.

Note:  The CEE is a consortium of energy efficiency program administrators from the United States and Canada formed to influence appliance manufacturers, government agencies, and other stakeholders to maximize the impact of energy efficiency programs. Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that helps identify appliances with the highest efficiency to help consumers save money and to protect the environment.

The new CEE and Energy Star Specifications (version 5) are summarized below:

CEE And Energy Star Efficiency Specification For Single Phase CAC And ASHP less than 65,000 BTU

The CEE ‘Tier 0’ is new; there were only three tiers in the past. The CEE did this as the new Tier 0 was the previous Tier 1 (14.5 SEER and 12 EER) and is still above the Federal minimum in some regions. This change has been made to continue current rebates and incentives in some regions as the market shifts to the new Tiers. Tier 0 may go away in 2016 after the industry has time to adapt to the new efficiency standards and associated tiers.

The CEE and Energy Star collaborated with the industry to, in most cases, align their specifications. This is a good thing for the industry, as it reduces the number of models to design, manufacture and stock.  It’s also advantageous  to the homeowner as it reduces confusion concerning energy efficiency ratings. The CEE’s Tier 1 is expected to be the most popular tier for efficiency programs. This also aligns with Energy Star, so you should expect to see new models designed to meet this efficiency level in the future.

Some useful resources to get more information on rebates and models information include:


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3 thoughts on “Understanding New Energy Star & CEE Tiers

  1. some time our vrv system 410a gas leaking.we will check and close the leakage .we need filing balance gas this i can or can not

    • Hi Jayantha,

      R410A replacement refrigerant is available and your system can be recharged successfully if it did not run too long with a low charge and if it did not lose too much refrigerant. Usually fixing refrigerant leaks and recharging is best done by a certified HVAC contractor who is familiar with your type of system. An HVAC contractor can quickly diagnose the problems and determine the best way to fix them.

      hope this helps,

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