Energy Policy Act of 2005 Sets More Stringent Efficiency Standards

Aug. 9, 2005

The new act mandates a 26-percent efficiency improvement for packaged AC and heat pumps

Signed into law on Aug. 8, 2005, by President Bush, the new Energy Policy Act of 2005 establishes national minimum efficiency standards on commercial packaged air-conditioning equipment, commercial refrigeration equipment, and automatic commercial ice-making equipment that will save energy and protect the environment. The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) was quick to highlight in a recent release that the new act contained three historic consensus agreements established by the institute and several energy efficiency groups. “The terms of the agreement, enacted into law through the energy bill, involves national minimum efficiency standards that will be effective on Jan. 1, 2010, and will avoid the need for 27 new 300 MW power plants,” the release states.

Packaged air-conditioners and heat pumps (from 65,000 Btu/hour up to 240,000 Btu/hour cooling capacity) will be required by law to be 26-percent more efficient. Additionally, ARI reports that the law will apply the federal standards program to:

  • Large packaged commercial air-conditioners and heat pumps from 240,000 Btu/hour up to 760,000 Btu/hour cooling capacity.
  • Commercial refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerator freezers used in restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, and other commercial buildings.
  • Automatic commercial ice-makers.

It’s estimated that the required efficiency levels will reduce peak power demand by 8,000 megawatts by 2020.

To read the complete release from ARI, visit (

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