The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) applauds the introduction of bipartisan legislation (S. 398) that would enact into law several consensus agreements on new regional standards furnaces, heat pumps, and central air conditioners; new federal efficiency levels for heat pump pool heaters, commercial furnaces, and service-over-the-counter refrigeration; and revisions to water heater efficiency test procedures.

The bill, known as the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act of 2012 (INCAAA) was introduced by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Committee Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and is an updated version of 2010's INCAAA bill (S. 3925 in the 111th Congress), which nearly passed under unanimous consent during the December 2010 "lame duck" session.

"Enactment of this legislation is one of our top legislative priorities this year," said Stephen Yurek, AHRI President and CEO. "We are very appreciative of Chairman Bingaman's and Senator Murkowski's leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with them and our association allies to ensure passage for the benefit of industry, consumers, and the environment," he said.

The consensus agreements contained in INCAAA were crafted by AHRI, appliance manufacturers, represented by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA); and energy efficiency advocates, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), and National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the California Energy Commission. The bill enjoys broad support because it would reduce the regulatory burden placed on manufacturers, reduce nationwide energy consumption, and save consumers money on their monthly energy bills.