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AHAM Voices Support for Harmonization Efforts
Jan 31, 2003
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As the 10 year commemoration of the North American Free Trade Agreement takes place, the leaders of North American Energy agencies gathered last week to announce the release of a new report titled "North American Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling." This report, developed by the North American Energy Working Group (NAEWG), a group of senior energy officials from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, is expected to strengthen the market for high-efficiency products in North America.

Mexico's recent adoption of new standards for energy efficiency will signify harmonized minimum efficiency requirements and test procedures for refrigerators, freezers, electric motors, and room air-conditioners in all three countries.

AHAM voices its support for this report and for Mexico's move toward harmonized efficiency standards. Joseph M. McGuire, AHAM president emphasized, "The benefits are increasingly important as manufacturers seek to market products globally. With cost reduction and competitive pressures, harmonization of standards is desirable if there are also allowances for mutual recognition of testing and accreditation among the countries' labs, agencies and manufacturers."

AHAM said it would like to see harmonized North American test procedures used at least throughout the whole western hemisphere, as they are considered less burdensome and more reproducible than IEC and ISO performance test procedures for appliances. AHAM said that North American performance test procedures, such as the US Department of Energy (DOE) procedures, have been developed in cooperation with all interested stakeholders and have been used successfully for years.

AHAM develops performance test procedures for appliances and is approved by ANSI as an Accredited Standards Developer (ASD). AHAM staff and its members also participate in the development of standards with many other ASDs, such as UL, CSA, NSF, DOE, EPA, ASHRAE, IEC, ISO, CANENA, et al., where it encourages international harmonization as well.

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