AHRI urges support for Water Heater Definition Bill
ARLINGTON, Virginia, 21 June 2022: On the eve of a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, leaders of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) today issued a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate energy committees seeking support for legislation (H.R. 7962/S. 4061) that would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to clarify the definitions of residential and commercial water heaters, the Institute said through a Press release.
According to AHRI, the legislation corrects an error in a final test procedure rule for commercial water heaters, issued in November 2016 by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that required manufacturers to rate some of those units using residential water heater efficiency standards. This created turmoil within the industry and resulted in property owners and small business owners spending resources to find alternative solutions, because the commercial water heating equipment that fit their needs was no longer available, AHRI added.
To permanently correct this error, a narrowly tailored technical amendment to the statutory EPCA definitions of water heaters is necessary, and these bills accomplish that task, AHRI said.
“America’s HVACR and water heating manufacturers, who make the most innovative, energy-efficient products available in the world today, are grateful to Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Marsha Blackburn R-TN), and Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) for their leadership in introducing this much-needed technical amendment,” said Stephen Yurek, President & CEO, AHRI. “This bipartisan bill will realign the legal definitions of commercial and residential water heating equipment enable more appropriate product choices for small businesses and provide business certainty for water heater manufacturers.”
AHRI, Alliance Seek Senate Support for Kigali Amendment
ARLINGTON, Virginia, 16 June 2022: Leaders of member companies of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy today issued a letter to the leadership of the United States Senate urging expeditious action to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The Amendment, approved in May by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is currently awaiting floor action, AHRI pointed out. The Kigali Amendment provides for a global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants, an action AHRI and its 320 HVACR and water heating manufacturers have sought for more than a decade, the Institute said.
According to AHRI, the letter informed Senate Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that ratification “will secure a position of strength for American companies in a highly competitive global market for next-generation refrigerant technologies by creating new U.S. manufacturing jobs and stimulating further investment in the U.S. economy”. It noted that “failure to ratify would close these markets to U.S. manufacturers after 2023, because the Montreal Protocol prohibits trade with countries not party to [it] or its amendments.”
According to AHRI, if the Amendment is ratified by the Senate, the United States will join some 129 other nations as full parties to the treaty, approved in October 2016, with the United States as a signatory.
French energy companies eye Middle East market
Citing the fact that many countries in the Middle East region are placing greater importance on improving energy efficiency and setting definitive targets related to renewable energy, Manoel Zenon, Trade Advisor, Infrastructures, Transport Industry, Business France, said that he believes French companies are well positioned to provide the technical knowledge and expertise required to achieve the regional public sector’s ambitious targets. Zenon said this is owing to the experience small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in France have in navigating stringent environmental requirements in Europe, which he said, they are eager to share with the regional market.
Vinoth Ramanujam, Regional Sales Director, AEG, represents one such company. Sharing the company’s history in the region’s renewable energy sector, Ramanujam said that AEG was active in solar projects around seven years ago but that the influx of competitors from the east did not allow them to be competitive and that the company is now concentrating on UPS systems, with a solar division focusing on grid and storage applications. On whether energy storage will see the same downturn in price as solar panels, Ramanujam said that the main challenge is to educate people in the market to move away from “20-year-old specifications” and put a premium on quality over cost.
Julien Pariat, Commercial Exports, Obstra, echoed the importance of educating the market to move away from conventional design specifications, saying that this is the main hurdle the company faces as a supplier of surge-protection modules for sensitive equipment. He said that the company aims to work with end-users and consultants during the specification and design stage to highlight its value as an additional layer of protection for sensitive equipment in critical applications, such as hospitals and data centres. The added cost, he stressed, pales in comparison to the cost of repairing damage and downtime from loss of services. “Not having it means there is risk of damage and premature ageing of sensitive equipment,” he said, adding that this extends to HVAC equipment, which is particularly vital for operations of infrastructure in the region.