Canadian Consulting Engineer

Commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturer says rules are “devastating”

April 7, 2015

The chief engineer of a small manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment in the U.S. told a committee of the House of Representatives that the web of rules governing his products are “devastating” the industry.
As reported by the Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Viktor Anderson of Michigan-based Structural Concepts gave testimony before the House Small Business Committee on March 18.
He complained that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) are creating too many rules without coordinating them with each other.
The DOE sets efficiency levels for commercial refrigeration equipment, while the EPA makes rules on what refrigerants are allowable. These rules are being issued irrespective of one another.
Consequently, Anderson argued, small businesses have to spend “inordinate” amounts of money and time to comply with a seemingly endless series of rulemakings — to the point where “We could potentially be redesigning our products every two to three years for more than 12 years in a row.”
In fact, Anderson noted that DOE’s own analysis of the commercial refrigeration rule found that “the average small manufacturer is expected to face capital conversion costs that are nearly five times typical annual capital expenditures.”
On one point Anderson argued that in issuing its energy conservation standards which go into effect in 2017, DOE did not abide by Executive Order 13563 that requires DOE to “tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society.” He also said that a concurrently issued rule requires agencies to examine the impacts of regulations on small businesses and seriously consider how to reduce regulatory burdens … for small businesses.”
Anderson pleaded with the Committee to conduct appropriate oversight of DOE and EPA, saying that “with its never-ending wave of new rules and ever-more-stringent standards, the administration is threatening our ability to do business, provide jobs, and provide critical products to American consumers.”
To see the AHRI press release, click here.


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