Variable Refrigerant Flow ASRAC Working Group Evaluation

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with TRC Engineers, Inc. (TRC) to conduct an independent evaluation of the Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ASRAC) Working Group on Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system standards and test procedures. The Working Group was created by the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) to provide a forum to raise issues and resolve differences among stakeholders regarding the creation of a standard for VRF systems. As a result, the Working Group created two term sheets that documented recommendations and points of agreement.

For the evaluation, TRC assessed the influence of efficiency organizations, including NEEA, on the Working Group’s recommendations by reviewing the U.S. DOE Working Group docket and interviewing participants. TRC found that the efficiency organizations presented test data and convinced the U.S. DOE and the Working Group to pursue significant revisions to the test procedure. Based on the impact of these activities, the research team concluded that the energy efficiency organizations involved, including NEEA, were responsible for 50% of the ASRAC Working Group’s recommendations. Upon the adoption of a final VRF standard by the U.S. DOE, the findings from this research will be integrated into an evaluation of energy efficiency organizations’ influence on the VRF standard’s final form and its impact on savings.

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