AHRI applauded President Obama's "Better Buildings Initiative" as a sign that government will take a more aggressive partnership role with industry in promoting energy efficiency. Obama's initiative aims to bring about a 20% improvement in building efficiency by 2020 by reforming the tax code, promoting more creative financing, and providing targeted government grants for efficiency improvements.

"As longtime leaders in energy efficiency, the manufacturers of HVACR and water heating equipment, are eager to work with the President, his administration, and Congress on ways to accelerate replacement of older heating, cooling, refrigeration, and water heating equipment components with today's more technologically advanced, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly models," said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President and CEO. Yurek cautioned, however, that to have confidence in the projected energy usage, architects, engineers, and building owners should insist on installing only AHRI performance certified equipment.

AHRI also calls on Congress and the White House to work together to establish and enhance tax incentives for commercial equipment. Yurek noted that AHRI has put forward two separate proposals to Capitol Hill that would a) reduce the depreciation period for the less efficient commercial equipment currently installed and in use, and b) provide tax incentives for replacement of equipment that uses a refrigerant that has been discontinued.

"The unrealistically lengthy depreciation period for commercial HVACR and water heating Equipment - 39 years - is what keeps building owners from replacing them in a more timely manner and, therefore, from saving energy and installing more energy efficient and environmentally friendly products," said Yurek. "We hope that this initiative might be the catalyst we need to finally get this beneficial legislation through Congress," he said.