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10/23/2014 - Manufacturers Won, US Population Lost
On October 13, 2009, the air conditioner manufacturers and a few energy efficiency advocacy organizations announced that they had come to an agreement on changes in the federal energy efficiency standards for air conditioners and heat pumps.
In 2008 a coalition of energy advocates and experts had begun an open process to update the Federal Standards. That group had almost universally agreed that there were two fatal flaws in the current air conditioner test procedure. 1) The fan energy consumption and test conditions were totally unrealistic; resulting in inflated ratings. 2) The test did not distinguish between air conditioners that provided good dehumidification for wet climates and superior cooling for hot dry climates. It was agreed that the test procedure needed to be changed simultaneous with new standards since the revised test procedure would produce different ratings.
Sometime after the initial coalition interactions a group of manufacturers and a few energy advocacy organizations met behind closed doors and produced the back room agreement that was announced on October 13, 2009. This agreement does not fill the needs of the citizens of the United States for a valid test procedure and minimum standards to choose air conditioners and heat pumps properly designed for their climate.
The table below outlines what the manufacturers won and what the population lost. Items 1 through 5 cover the problems with the test procedure and calculation. Items 6 through 11 cover the minor improvements in efficiency specified over the next 12 years (between 0% and 0.6% per year).
Items 12 through 16 cover additional items.
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