HVAC equipment manufacturer Carrier Corporation withdrew its support to a legal challenge in the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court in Virginia against the 13 SEER national minimum efficiency standard for residential central air-conditioners and heat pumps.
"A 13 SEER standard is the right environmental choice," said Geraud Darnis, president of Carrier Corporation. "It provides significant energy savings for the country while reducing energy bills for homeowners."
SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, is the official energy efficiency descriptor for residential central air conditioners and heat pumps in the U.S. A 13 SEER rating provides a 30-percent energy efficiency increase over a10 SEER standard.
In January, the Second Circuit Court in New York, U.S. ruled that the 13 SEER standard as originally promulgated by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2001 should go into effect in 2006.
"A lot has changed in three years," said Mr. Darnis. He noted the Fourth Circuit Court challenge could revert the standard back to 10 SEER, which has been in effect since 1992. "Given the choice between 10 SEER or 13 SEER, we think the industry should support higher efficiency." Mr. Darnis stated.
"While this increase in efficiency represents a significant challenge for the industry, Carrier will be prepared to meet that challenge to support our customers," he continued. "The nation, the industry, and the public need certainty on the new standard so we encourage the industry to embrace 13 SEER."
Carrier, several other air-conditioner manufacturers, and the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute originally challenged the 13 SEER standard published by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2001. In releasing the 13 SEER standard on Jan. 22, 2001, the Department of Energy indicated it would save the nation 4.2 quads of energy by 2030, or the equivalent of all the energy used by 26 million American households in a single year.
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