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Enercare 2019 Rate Increase

Enercare has just released their 2019 rental prices.  It’s a massive 4.2% increase compared to 2018 rate. See below for more information. 

New Furnace Efficiency Rating

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) recently petitioned the US Department of Energy (DOE), asking them to initiate a Notice and Comment for Rulemaking to develop a new unified test procedure combining efficiency metrics for residential furnaces. At a high level, this new test procedure would combine the current gas (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) AFUE, and electrical efficiency metrics (Fan Energy Rating) FER and standby, into a new unified metric AFUE2 for measuring furnace efficiency. On November 14, 2018, the DOE published a Notice of Petition for Rulemaking to consider this request. The comment period for this notice is open until January 14, 2019.

As part of this petition on November 2, 2018, the DOE issued an Enforcement Policy Statement for the FER regulation, which goes into effect July 3, 2019, stating that the DOE will not enforce the testing, certification and compliance requirements while the DOE considers the request from AHRI.

At this time, there is uncertainty regarding the outcome of the DOE Notice of Petition.

Some possible outcomes:

  • DOE denies the petition and maintains the current metric including the FER regulation with a July 3, 2019 effective date.

  • DOE agrees to further consider the petition and delays the enforcement of the current FER regulation while the petition is under consideration.

  • DOE chooses to open a rulemaking to develop the test procedure for a unified metric (AFUE2) and transition to a new efficiency standard. Timing for this transition is uncertain but likely 12 – 18 months minimum. While the rulemaking process proceeds, the current FER regulation could stay in effect or be suspended.


Please note that NRCan recently announced they will be implementing the FER regulation as of July 3, 2019. The AHRI petition does not affect Canada’s plans to implement FER.

NRCAN Regulations on PSC Motors

Starting July 03/2019 sale of furnaces equipped with PSC type blower motor will stop in Canada. Follwoing is a FAQ in regards to NRCAN new regulations. 

 

WHAT IS FER?

The Fan Efficiency Rating (“FER”) is a regulation passed by the NRCAN in 2017 that limits the power consumption (watts per cfm) of furnace fans on certain HVAC equipment.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ME?

Furnace fans, also known as blowers, that use a permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor cannot meet the power consumption requirement. Therefore, after July 3, 2019, furnaces may only be manufactured with an electronically commutated motor (ECM), which can be either constant torque or variable speed. Inducer fans are not covered under the regulation.

WHICH PRODUCTS ARE IMPACTED?

All furnaces (gas, oil and electric), modular blowers (with and without electric heat), and gas-fired residential package units.

CAN I PURCHASE A FURNACE OR PACKAGE UNIT WITH A PSC MOTOR AFTER JULY 3,2019?

Yes, there is no restriction on purchasing or installing equipment with a PSC motor that was built before July 3, 2019.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE A WARRANTY CLAIM FOR A PSC MOTOR?

PSC motors will still be available for warranty replacements and non-warranty repairs.

Ontario Government Moves to Scrap Green Energy Act

To no one’s surprise, only months after cancelling hundreds of renewable energy contracts, the Ontario government introduced legislation late in September that will scrap the Green Energy Act, a law introduced in 2009 that aimed to bolster the province’s green energy industry. Critics of the act have said it resulted in an increase in electricity costs and saw the province overpay for power it did not need. Infrastructure Minister, Monte McNaughton stated last week that repealing the law will ensure that municipalities regain planning authority over renewable projects, something that was removed under the act.

The government said future renewable energy projects must first demonstrate need for the electricity they generate, before being granted approval. The province would not say if the same rules would apply to natural gas or nuclear projects.The government announced this summer it was cancelling 758 renewable energy contracts in what it called an effort to reduce electricity bills in the province. Energy Minister, Greg Rickford said the move would save provincial ratepayers $790-million, but according to a CBC report, “industry officials questioned the figure and predicted there would be job losses.”

“Environmental advocacy groups and opposition parties said eliminating the Green Energy Act is largely symbolic, since the contracts were already ripped up. But they argued the move would discourage those in the green energy industry, costing the province significant investments and jobs without lowering electricity bills.”

“It is largely symbolic, there’s no current investment going forward in green energy, there are no projects to cancel,” said NDP legislator, Peter Tabuns, adding the Tory plan “doesn’t actually address the substantial problems that people have with higher bills.”

Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner said the legislation will do nothing to lower electricity prices, “but it will have a chilling effect on job creation and investors in the clean economy.”

Source HRAI

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