Do you know when the U.S. last raised furnace efficiency standards? It was 1987. Do you know how long the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been trying to change that? At least since 2007.The past eight years have been a sad case of industry heavyweights preventing progress on this important issue. The DOE, however, just proposed a new rule, so we might finally see some action here. Do you know when it’s set to go into effect, if passed?A bit of furnace efficiency historyIn 1987, the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act set a minimum of 78% Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). That’s when furnaces with standing pilot lights went away.In 2007, the DOE proposed raising the minimum from 78 to 80 AFUE. What?! Yes, it’s true. They really did that, even though the rule would have had pretty much zero effect on saving energy.Why? Because even though 78 AFUE was the minimum allowed, nearly every furnace being made is 80 AFUE or higher. I think I’ve seen only one new furnace that had an AFUE lower than 80. RELATED ARTICLESA New Efficiency Standard for Gas FurnacesGovernment Orders More Efficient Furnace FansAll About Furnaces and Duct Systems When HVAC Manufacturers, Efficiency Advocates Find Common GroundWater Heaters Get an Efficiency MakeoverRefrigerators Get New Efficiency StandardsCongress Plays with the Light Bulb MandateCalifornia’s Efficiency Standards Applied to TVs President Obama Orders Energy Department to Raise Appliance Efficiency Standards So the battle began. The state of California and a coalition of environmental and energy efficiency groups sued the DOE. That led to a set of regional standards, whereby Northern states (those with more than 5,000 heating degree days) would have had to go to 90 AFUE and the warmer South and Southwest would get to stick with 80 AFUE.And that’s when the American Public Gas Association (APGA) blew up. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the APGA “argued that consumers would flock to electric resistance furnaces rather than install high-efficiency gas furnaces.” (See their article, Why DOE’s Cave on Furnace Standards Is Such a Big Deal.)There’s no way they really thought that would happen, of course. Heat pumps maybe, but electric resistance furnaces? No way. They’re not allowed for primary heating even here in Georgia, a warm state (IECC climate zones 2, 3, and 4). The truth is that the gas industry really should be afraid of heat pumps, not electric resistance heat.So the effort to enact regional standards fell apart.The latest move by the DOEOn February 10, 2015, the DOE announced a proposal to adopt a 92 AFUE standard nationwide. That’s nice. It should be higher and it should have been done a long time ago, but if enacted, it would effectively kill atmospheric combustion furnaces.There will be opposition. According to The ACHR News, Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of the Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), said, “Now, even though natural gas and oil prices are lower than they were [three years ago when the DOE issued regional standards] — in the case of oil, much lower — the DOE now feels a 92 percent nationwide standard is appropriate. How can that be? What’s changed?”And the Air Conditioning Contractors of America seems to be getting itself ready for opposition. “It’s very aggressive,” said senior vice president Charlie McCrudden in the same ACHR News article. “This would harm a lot of people, including those in lower income brackets.”So, as homes are required to reach greater levels of airtightness, the furnace efficiency circus continues.Oh, another thing: Do you know when the new requirement would go into effect, if approved? 2021. At the earliest.Pros and consChanging the minimum efficiency of equipment available isn’t a big deal for new homes. Yeah, the cost is a little higher, but it’s existing homes that will feel the biggest blow if the DOE proposal gets approved.DOE efficiency standards for equipment, however, cannot distinguish between new homes and existing homes. The DOE’s efficiency standards apply to equipment, not uses of equipment. So if the DOE approves this proposal, anyone changing out an atmospheric combustion furnace afterward will also have to change out the flue. That could add several hundred dollars to the cost. It may increase it even more, and in multifamily buildings, the difficulty level will be higher.The obvious benefit of going to a higher efficiency furnace is the energy savings. Going from 80 AFUE to 92 or, better, 95 AFUE will reduce the amount of natural gas or propane being used and save money for the homeowners. Unfortunately, the price of gas is really low in a lot of places now, so return on investment may not be favorable.The biggest reason to make the change, in my opinion, isn’t energy savings though. It’s indoor air quality. Condensing, sealed combustion furnaces that bring in their own combustion air won’t backdraft a natural draft water heater (which is still allowed in homes). It won’t depressurize a home and suck in bad air from the garage or moldy crawl space. And it won’t ever spill exhaust gases into a home when common-vented with a natural draft water heater because it cannot be common-vented.It’s past time to make this change. Let’s go, DOE. Make it happen.External Resources DOE – Rulemaking for Residential Furnaces Energy Conservation StandardsDOE page on residential furnacesACEEE – Why DOE’s Cave on Furnace Standards Is Such a Big DealAppliance Standards Awareness Project page on furnaces Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard.
One more episode in the riveting rivalry between Gagan Narang and Beijing Olympics gold medallist Abhinav Bindra will be on show on Saturday as the high voltage shooting competition begins at the Asian Games. Frankly speaking, among all sporting disciplines India are competing in at the Asiad, shooting seems the best bet for medals. Gone are the days when one Jaspal Rana would win us most of the medals, as he last did at the Doha Asian Games.gagan Narang (left) and Abhinav Bindra will reignite their rivalry at the Guangzhou Asian Games.In Gagan Narang, India has a rifle shooter who is willing to shoulder the load and shoot in as many as three competitions with an eye on medals. No doubt, with Bindra and Sanjeev Rajput, Narang could well launch India’s medal tally in the team event but the bigger battle will be in the individual event.For those lucky enough to witness the Beijing Olympics air rifle competition, the sight of Bindra winning the gold and Narang virtually in tears after missing the final is still etched in memory.Much as the two play down the rivalry between themselves as they did at the Commonwealth Games, it is no secret that Narang wants this gold medal very badly. To be sure, Narang has an incredible year behind him. Peaking again and again is not easy, but as he shot below par in the World Cup Finals last month, he is expected to be in blazing form on Saturday.advertisementAnd that should set the tone for the shooting competition on a day when the women’s air rifle event will also be held, where Tejaswini Sawant is a force to reckon with.If the Commonwealth Games is to be used as an indicator of India’s depth and drive in shooting, one should not forget that the hosts are hungry and cunning when it comes to shooting medals.Over the years, China’s depth has only increased, thanks to the demanding schedule they set for their shooters. In a sport where the marksman is basically competing against himself or herself, there is none to blame other than one’s own form.National coach Sunny Thomas has tried to ‘sanitise’ the shooters by not allowing them to talk to the media. Whether it works, we will get to see. But one man who has a similar philosophy while dealing with the rifle shooters is foreign coach Stanislas Lapidus as he also feels the media is indeed intrusive and a distraction for the competitors.Moving away from the rifle, in pistol events the Indians are not favourites to win medals against the consistency and aggression of the Chinese and Korean shooters. However, trap marksman Manavjit Singh Sandhu feels the Indians are in good form.”I can say with assurance that the Indian shooters have come in with good results this year. They are in good form but we will have to wait for the results,” he said, not wanting to hazard a prediction. Sandhu and Mansher Singh are the tried and tested Indian trap shooters from whom a lot is expected here in the team and individual events. Mansher was first part of the Asian Games team in 1982 in New Delhi.For the sheer number of years Mansher has been in the sport — 28 — it’s a tribute to his perseverance. In a sport where age doesn’t really matter, he has been consistent. The Asian Games is the biggest stage next to the Olympics and in double trap as well, India can come good. Ronjan Sodhi’s shooting in 2010 coupled with junior world champion Asher Noria’s explosive talent can be worth medals.
During the week-long visit, Premier Cartwright Robinson also had three other key engagements: a bilateral meeting with Baroness Anelay on key areas of concern for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government, among which are national security, border protection and policing, human rights concerns and SIPT funding; a meeting with the Minister of State for Security, Hon. Ben Wallace MP on proposed amendments to the Criminal Finances Bill, which if passed in the UK Parliament could see the introduction of open registries in British Overseas Territories sooner than originally anticipated; and an Introduction and Photocall Session and Tour along with the other leaders, with the Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, The Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street in London.While in the UK, the Premier also hosted receptions in London and Manchester, where the she addressed the Turks and Caicos Islands students and diaspora on matters of national priority and the focus of her Government, and further had the opportunity to hear from attendees on matters of interest to them. As an advocate for the development and empowerment of young people, the Premier found the evenings informative and invigorating and noted that she looks forward to engaging with the diaspora further when she next visits London in June of this year for the next OT-EN and Pre-JMC meetings. ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT JMC (OT-EN) was hosted by the Rt. Hon. Baroness Anelay of St. Johns DBE Minister of State of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Mr. Robin Walker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, DExEU, and was attended by leaders of twelve members of the Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories Association (UKOTA) which includes: Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, St Helena and Ascension Islands, Tristan Da Cunha and The Turks and Caicos Islands. Recommended for you Premier Cartwright-Robinson returned to the TCI to attend the meeting of the House of Assembly that was scheduled on Monday, February 13, 2017 in the capital, Grand Turk. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp The two-day meeting of the JMC (OT-EN), which was agreed in London back in October last year among the Overseas Territories (OT) Leaders during the annual Joint Ministerial Council Meeting as the primary forum for dialogue on the UK’s exit from the EU, sought to facilitate political engagement and collaboration between the UK Government and the Governments of the Overseas Territories to ensure that OT’s requirements are taken into consideration in the preparations of the UK to exit the EU.Among the opportunities presented by the forum was the discussion on areas of opportunity for EU cooperation and collaboration with the OTs that may be affected during the period that the UK remains a member of the EU; the basis for a future relationship between the UK, OTs and EU; and it further provided a road map for future engagement at the Ministerial and Official level to ensure that matters agreed at the forum are upheld during UK negotiations on their exit from the EU. Related Items:#magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppLondon, England, February 16, 2017 – The Premier and Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade, Honourable Sharlene L. Cartwright Robinson, this week joined other leaders of the United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOT) in London at an extraordinary Joint Ministerial Council (Overseas Territories – Europe Negotiations) (JMC (OT-EN)) Meeting specifically arranged to begin preliminary negotiations with the United Kingdom (UK) Government in anticipation of the enactment of Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and Britain’s exit from the European Union. Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting #MagneticMediaNews The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provo
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had extended her support to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal days before the poll date, congratulated him for the unprecedented victory. Hailing the victory, Banerjee tweeted, “My congratulations to all the Delhi voters, AAP workers and leaders for big victory. Well done to you. All my best wishes. We are very happy.”While taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Banerjee tweeted, “This is a victory for the people and a big defeat for the arrogant and those who are doing political vendetta & spreading hate among people.” The West Bengal CM, in her tweet, also said, “Delhi elex is turning point of present political situation. Shows political vendetta has no place in a democracy. Country needed this change.” Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJINotably, a few days ahead of Delhi polls, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) president had issued a statement asking her supporters and voters to support Kejriwal for the development of Delhi. Banerjee had tweeted, “My request to all of you in Delhi is to please vote for AAP… for the greater need of the country and development in Delhi.” The TMC chief’s call for support to AAP is in the line with her policy for a “federal front” comprising of regional parties, including JD(U), BJD, SP, JD(S), CPI, etc. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindFormer Bihar CM and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, who had also extended his support to AAP, congratulated Kejriwal for registering a landslide victory in Delhi. On AAP victory, Kumar said, “People want development with justice. They never accept arrogance. This is reflected in AAP’s victory in Delhi.”Other leaders who had supported AAP in Delhi polls include national Conference leader Omar Abdullah, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat. JD(S) leader Gowda, a probable constituent of Mamata’s Federal Front, had asked their activists and supporters to back AAP wherever its candidates were not in the running.
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