The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has announced its opposition to H.R. 2454: The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES Act) in its current form. AHRI president, Stephen Yurek, stated that AHRI much prefers the Senate’s approach to decreasing energy intensity, and that they object to the ACES Act as it is written due to the negative effects it will have on the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT).
“In its current form, the ACES Act would effectively allow any jurisdiction in the nation to enact its own energy policy through the use of prescriptive building codes, severely impacting the ability of heating, air conditioning, and commercial refrigeration manufacturers to provide products to residential and commercial customers in the most timely, efficient, and economical way,” says Yurek.
Yurek expressed AHRI’s concerns that allowing any building code, anywhere in the country, to specify an energy efficiency level for both residential and commercial heating, cooling, and refrigeration equipment would create marketing and distribution problems for AHRI member companies, distributors, and contractors. He stated that it also could possibly threaten thousands of American jobs. Rather than allowing state and local governments to set their own energy conservation standards through building codes, AHRI believes that Congress should revise and expand the tax credits contained in the stimulus bill, allowing more Americans to at least bring their heating and cooling systems to the federal minimum efficiency.
“We strongly believe that if a reduction in energy intensity is the goal, as Congress has said many times it is, the focus has to be on upgrading the nation’s installed base of heating and cooling equipment,” says Yurek. “As an industry that has a proud record of producing highly energy-efficient products, we are eager to work with Congress to accomplish the nation’s energy reduction goals. But Congress needs to leave manufacturing, distribution, installation, and maintenance to the experts, and concentrate on providing incentives that allow average Americans to save energy and money.”