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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 10/31/2014

ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 10/31/2014

Federal Activities

  • Either Way, November Elections Will Bring Fresh Hope for Priority Legislation Next Year
  • DOE Seeks Comment for Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Water Heaters, Hot Water Supply Boilers, and Unfired Hot Water Storage Tanks
  • DOE Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Test Procedures for Ceiling Fans

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

  • Montgomery County Maryland to hold Benchmarking Introductory Forum
  • Updating Online Records for GGAC Chairs
  • Legislative Issues After November 4

Federal Activities

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

 

Either Way, November Elections Will Bring Fresh Hope for Priority Legislation Next Year

Like the shifting of the seasons, so too will the congressional elections that are set to take place on November 4 usher in change. The full U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for election. While it's safe to say even now that the House will remain firmly in the hands of Republicans, the Democrats' slim hold on the Senate hangs in the balance as a result of several closely contested races. ASHRAE, as a nonpartisan, technical society, and a 501(c)(3) organization does not involve itself in elections, however the results of the elections will impact the issues we care about, if for no other reason than the fact that legislation is introduced by individual Members of Congress, and some of the Members may change after November.

Regardless of the outcome of the elections, the new and returning Members of Congress will all seek to make good on their campaign promises and advance their priorities. This presents a tremendous opportunity for ASHRAE to educate these policymakers about the Society and the great work of our volunteers and impact of our standards, guidelines, professional certifications, Building Energy Quotient Building Energy Labeling Program, conferences, and publications.

Opportunities will also abound in the form of legislation. Because all existing legislation will have to be reintroduced when the new Congress convenes in January, the door will be at least slightly open to improving previously introduced legislation and exploring new bills designed to help meet the needs of the building community.

Additional information on the new Members of Congress and how power may have shifted in the Senate will be included in subsequent editions of the Government Affairs Update.

 

DOE Seeks Comment for Rulemaking on Energy Conservation Standards for Commercial Water Heaters, Hot Water Supply Boilers, and Unfired Hot Water Storage Tanks

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is initiating a rulemaking to consider amended energy conservation standards for commercial water heaters, hot water supply boilers, and unfired hot water storage tanks (commercial water heating equipment). Once completed, this rulemaking will fulfill DOE's statutory obligation to either propose amended energy conservation standards for commercial water heating equipment or to determine that the existing standards do not need to be amended.

Written comments and information are due to DOE on or before November 20, 2014. Additional information is available here.

 

DOE Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Test Procedures for Ceiling Fans

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to reinterpret the statutory definition of a ceiling fan to include hugger ceiling fans and to amend its test procedure for ceiling fans established under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. The proposed test procedure would establish an integrated efficiency metric for ceiling fans, based on the airflow and power consumption at low and high speed for low-volume ceiling fans, and at high speed for high-volume ceiling fans (where volume refers to airflow volume). The proposed efficiency metric would also account for power consumed in standby mode. The proposed test procedure amendments also include new test methods for high-volume ceiling fans, multi-mount ceiling fans, ceiling fans with multiple fan heads, and ceiling fans where the airflow is not directed vertically, as well as power consumption in standby mode. In addition, the proposed test procedure would: Clarify that only high and low speeds are to be tested for low-volume ceiling fans; eliminate the requirement to test with a test cylinder; add a false ceiling; clarify the distance between the ceiling fan blades and the air velocity sensors during testing; clarify the fan configuration during testing for low-volume ceiling fans; clarify the test method for ceiling fans with heaters; and revise the allowable tolerance for air velocity sensors.

DOE will hold a public meeting on this rulemaking on November 19, 2014. The meeting will be held both in-person and available via webinar. Additional information on this rulemaking and meeting is available 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].

 

Montgomery County Maryland to hold Benchmarking Introductory Forum

Montgomery County Maryland will hold a free introductory forum on November 6 for the new benchmarking legislation passed earlier this year. In attendance will be:

  • Montgomery County staff, who will explain the specifics of the law and how the county will be working with business owners to implement the benchmarking requirements
  • A representative of EPA Energy Star explaining Portfolio Manager
  • Pepco (a local utility) to present about advancements on the utility side to aid in accessing the necessary data to benchmark buildings
  • First-person accounts of building owners who have already benchmarked

 

Updating Online Records for GGAC Chairs

Just a brief reminder to make sure that the GGAC information for your Chapter is updated with ASHRAE. It is important that all GGAC Chairs in the Chapters be correctly identified. Chapter Presidents must make this update and it can be made online or sent into the ASHRAE office. For details, please contact Tamara Catchings in ASHRAE HQ at [email protected]

 

Legislative Issues After November 4

November 4 is Election Day in the United States. This mid-term election will see voting for members of Congress, state legislatures and municipal officials around the country.  Most states will see new legislative sessions convene in January. With that will come any number of bills on issues of importance to ASHRAE members such as energy efficiency, code enforcement and high performance buildings to name a few. The staff of ASHRAE's Government Affairs Office makes every attempt to keep members informed as issues develop. Please feel free to contact the Government Affairs Office with questions about legislation or regulations at [email protected].  

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