28 Jan New Regulations Affect Homeowners in 2015
Increasing energy efficiency has long been the mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and in 2015, two new regulations involving air conditioning equipment and water heaters will take effect to support this goal. REALTORS need to be familiar with the new regulations because the regulations will likely force homeowners, contractors and manufacturers to make difficult and costly decisions.
The first change involves raising efficiency standards for air conditioning equipment. Beginning January 1, 2015, new Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) standards will increase from 13 to 14. For those not familiar with the term, SEER is calculated by dividing how much a unit cools by how much energy it uses during a typical cooling season. Therefore, the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient a unit is.
The second big change involves water heater replacements – an amendment to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act known as the “2015 DOE Final Rule.” When the amendment takes effect on April 16, 2015, the DOE will require higher energy factor ratings on virtually all residential gas, electric, oil and tankless gas water heaters. This will impact how water heaters are designed, manufactured, tested, distributed and installed, affecting manufacturers, wholesalers, installers and homeowners alike.
While these changes may be costly and cause headaches for homeowners, contractors manufacturers, etc., they will help our country become more energy efficient and decrease the impact on our environment. According to the DOE, these new mandatory standards will save approximately 3.3 quads of energy and result in approximately $63 billion in energy-bill savings for products shipped from 2015-2044. The standard will avoid about 172.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 33.8 million automobiles.
All REALTORS should talk to their home warranty providers to find out more about how these new regulations could potentially affect their clients.
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