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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 9/2/2016

US Federal Legislative & Regulatory Activities

  • Congress Returns Next Week for a Blistering Session Before the Election
  • DOE Issues Rulemaking on Consumer and Commercial Water Heaters
  • Error Corrections Addressed in DOE Rulemaking
  • Several ASHRAE Standards Referenced in Proposed Rule on Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps
  • HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee to Hold Public Webinar

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

  • California Legislature Passes Comprehensive Climate Change Legislation
  • California Public Utilities Commission Adopts Revised Energy Efficiency Plan
  • Florida Proposes Lower Examination Fees for Asbestos Consultants and Contractors
  • Florida Plans Public Hearing on Commercial Energy Building Code
  • Plan a Day on the Hill for ASHRAE
 

US Federal Legislative & Regulatory Activities

For additional information on Federal legislative and regulatory issues, please contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE’s Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at [email protected].

Congress Returns Next Week for a Blistering Session Before the Election

Members of Congress and their staff are putting on their running shoes for one last 17 day sprint before the November 8 elections during which control of the House, Senate, and Presidency will be determined.

Congressional Leadership will make public announcements of legislation scheduled for consideration in the very near future. In the meantime, here’s what we know is likely to be on the agenda:

·    Appropriations:The 2017 Federal Fiscal Year begins October 1, however there is the distinct possibility of a partial government shutdown if Congress doesn’t enact a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government at current levels until shortly after the November elections. Top level Democrats and Republicans in both Chambers are currently engaged in a tug of war over whether to pass a short-term CR, an omnibus funding bill that lasts until after the new President submits their budget request to Congress, or some hybrid thereof. Parallel to this is a raging fight over a bill that would provide funding to combat the Zika crisis, but would also defund Planned Parenthood, among other things. While that bill is expected to fail, the politics could spill over into the larger government funding debate.

·    National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): For over 50 consecutive years Congress has enacted the NDAA, which helps direct funding for the US military and Department of Defense activities. No policymaker wants to be held responsible if this record is broken, and as such, it is seen as one of the few must-pass bills each year in Congress.

·    Energy Bill: There is a strong push by a broad group of stakeholders and Members of Congress from both Parties to complete work on the Energy Bill (S.2012), as it contains a diverse set of improvements that appeal to efficiency advocates, those in favor of liquefied national gas (LNG) export approval reforms, and many others. However, there are many controversial issues that remain undecided – not the least of which are the building energy codes provisions in the House-passed version of this bill. (Click here for a summary of why ASHRAE opposes the House building energy codes provisions). With time in short-supply this year, the controversies within the Energy Bill may very well overtake the momentum that has been building over five years to enact this bill.

 

DOE Issues Rulemaking on Consumer and Commercial Water Heaters

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNOPR) that would update its methodology for developing the conversations for consumer and commercial water heaters. The SNOPR also proposes to express energy conservation standards with a new uniform energy factor (UEF) metric. Over the past several years, DOE has adopted the efficiency levels for water heaters in various editions of Standard 90.1, with the latest such action taking place on July 17, 2015, when DOE adopted the thermal efficiency level for oil-fired storage water heaters in Standard 90.1-2013.

Comments are due no later than September 29, 2016. To view the full SNOPR in the Federal Register please click here.

 

Error Corrections Addressed in DOE Rulemaking

DOE has formally published in the Federal Register a final rule addressing actions relating to identifying and responding to errors in DOE rulemakings. This rulemaking addresses several issues, including DOE’s anti-backsliding requirements for energy conservation standards, rulemaking review periods, and definitions concerning rulemaking actions. The final rule can be found here.

 

Several ASHRAE Standards Referenced in Proposed Rule on Test Procedures for Central Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

A supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking by DOE that would revise its test procedures for central air conditioners and heat pumps also recommends incorporating by reference all or portions of the following standards:

·         ASHRAE 23.1-2010 Methods of Testing for Rating the Performance of Positive Displacement Refrigerant Compressors and Condensing Units that Operate at Subcritical Temperatures of the Refrigerant

·         ASHRAE Standard 37-2009 Methods of Testing for Rating Electrically Driven Unitary Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment

·         ASHRAE 41.1-2013 Standard Method for Temperature Measurement

·         ASHRAE 41.2-1987 (RA 1992) Standard Methods for Laboratory Airflow Measurement

·         ASHRAE 41.6-2014 Standard Method for Humidity Measurement

·         ASHRAE 41.9-2011 Standard Methods for Volatile-Refrigerant Mass Flow Measurements Using Calorimeters

·         ASHRAE 116-2010 Methods of Testing for Rating Seasonal Efficiency of Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

·         ANSI/AHRI 210/240-2008 Performance Rating of Unitary Air-Conditioning & Air-Source Heat Pump Equipment

·         ANSI/AHRI 1230-2010 Performance Rating of Unitary Air-Conditioning & Air-Source Heat Pump Equipment

·         AMCA 210-2007 Laboratory Methods of Testing Fans for Certified Aerodynamic Performance Rating

Comments are due by September 23, 2016. To view the SNOPR please clickhere.

 

HUD’s Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee to Hold Public Webinar

The Technical Systems Subcommittee of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee will hold a public conference call/webinar on September 27, 2016 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The draft agenda is below:

I. Call to Order—Chair & Designated Federal Officer (DFO)

II. Opening Remarks—Subcommittee Chair and DFO

III. Roll Call—Administering Organization (AO)

IV. Administrative Announcements—DFO and AO

V. Approval of Minutes from December 2, 2015—Technical Systems Subcommittee Meeting—(See www.hud.gov/mhs)

VI. NFPA 70-2014 Recommendation to adopt NFPA 70-2014 including the following Sections in their entirety:

a. Section 210.8—Ground—Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection for Personnel

b. Section 210.12(A)—Arc-Fault Circuit-Interrupter Protection

c. Section 406.12(A)—Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

d. Section 550.4(A) & (B)—General Requirements; and Section 210.52(E)(3)—Balconies, Decks and Porches as amended (See www.hud.gov/mhsMinutes of NFPA 70-2014 Task Force Meeting, May 25, 2016)

VII. New Business:

Log 113—Update “ANSI/AHRI Standard 210/240-89” to “ANSI/AHRI 210-240-2008” (See www.hud.gov/mhs)

Log 114—Update “ANSI Z21.47-1990” to ANSI Z21.47-2012/CSA 2.3—2012” (See www.hud.gov/mhs)

VIII. Open Discussion

IX. Public Comments

X. Wrap Up – DFO/AO

XI. Adjourn 4:00 p.m.

For additional information, including how to participate, please click here.

 

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

For additional information on State, local, and international government affairs, please contact Jim Scarborough, ASHRAE’s Manager of Grassroots Government Affairs, at [email protected].

California Legislature Passes Comprehensive Climate Change Legislation

The California legislature passed several bills in August which mandates a 40% reduction of greenhouse gases in California by the year 2030 over 1990 levels. Current law now requires reduction to 1990 levels by the year 2020. These goals, now written into State law, were first set forward last year by Governor Jerry Brown (D) in an Executive Order. The two bills (Assembly Bill 197 and Senate Bill 32) both had to pass in order to become law due to language written into the draft legislation. They now go to the Governor’s desk for his signature. 

 

California Public Utilities Commission Adopts Revised Energy Efficiency Plan

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has adopted a revised proposed “Decision Providing Guidance for Initial Energy Efficiency Rolling Portfolio Business Plan Filings.” This order instituting rulemaking provides policy guidance on several issues related to the filing of energy efficiency business plans which set up the framework for the energy efficiency Rolling Portfolio process. The decision addresses next steps for regional energy networks, the appropriate baselines to be used to measure energy savings for specific programs and measures, transition for statewide and third party programs, and changes to the evaluation and shareholder incentive frameworks. To view the full decision, please click here

 

Florida Proposes Lower Examination Fees for Asbestos Consultants and Contractors

The Florida Administrative Register, published August 17, 2016, gives notice of aproposed rule amendment which will reduce the examination fee and the reexamination fee for asbestos consultants and asbestos contractors.  For more information, please click here.

If requested within 21 days of the date of the notice, a public hearing will be scheduled and announced in the Register. To make such a request or to obtain additional information, contact:

Jamie E. Royal, Assistant General Counsel

Office of the General Counsel

2601 Blair Stone Road

Tallahassee, Florida 32399

(850)488-0062

 

Florida Plans Public Hearing on Commercial Energy Building Code

The Florida Administrative Register, published on August 31, 2016, gives notice that the Florida Building Commission’s Energy Technical Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting on September 12, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. This meeting is to review and accept report regarding whether the State’s latest draft of the commercial energy building code “6th Edition (2017) Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation” meets or exceeds the provisions of ASHRAE 90.1-2013 regarding building energy efficiency. This meeting will review and accept recommendations of the Energy Rating Index Workgroup. 

For more information, you may contact: Norman Bellamy, Building Codes and Standards Office, Division of Professions, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0772, call (850) 487-1824 or access the Commission website,https://floridabuilding.org/c/default.aspx

The public may join the meeting electronically at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/492144317; toll free at 1-877-309-2073, meeting ID/access code: 492-144-317; or in person at the public point of access which is 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida.

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