July 29, 2016
In May 2016, CEE shared a proposal for room air-conditioner specification revisions with industry stakeholders. This proposal introduces criteria for connected room air conditioners, the first CEE specification to do so, although others are in the works, notably for central air-conditioning. It also includes increases to the current CEE Tier 1 and 2 efficiency levels to ensure continued savings in a world of rising baselines.
CEE has proposed criteria to recognize units that have connected capability through open standards and possess functionality enabling new benefits to customers and utility systems. CEE members are interested in units that help consumers realize energy and financial savings, increase the resilience and viability of the grid, and contribute environmental benefits. Many of the functional requirements specified by ENERGY STAR® or developed by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) for use in the DOE test procedure are recognized in the specification.
Additionally, CEE members believe that connected products promoted with ratepayer funds—which must offer value to customers meeting diverse demographic characteristics—would ideally offer multiple pathways to connect, including an open, nonproprietary means for achieving two-way connectivity within the physical bounds of the customer's home. CEE members are also actively exploring how to leverage Open APIs to maximize the benefit of connected products that rely on a manufacturer's cloud storage for establishing connectivity.
While the comment deadline has passed, CEE is still very interested in engaging room air-conditioner manufacturers and other relevant stakeholders on the connected elements of the specification. Please contact CEE if you have input on the proposal or key people that should be involved in these discussions. CEE is looking forward to bringing industry feedback to the CEE Appliance Committee to inform its deliberations and deliver a final specification proposal that reflects industry considerations.
Action on Clothes Dryers
Additionally, the CEE Appliance Committee has been carefully working through the key considerations relevant to residential clothes dryers. Members have made significant progress toward the development of a CEE clothes dryer specification. Given DOE test procedure limitations, the Committee has identified a pathway forward that should enable credible energy savings for consumers. CEE hopes to have a draft specification for industry stakeholders to review on the streets later this summer. Please stay tuned!