ACCA Urges Environmental Groups to Focus on Realized Efficiency Programs

June 6, 2017

ACCA, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, sent a letter to the Sierra Club, Earthjustice, the Natural Resource Defense Council, and the Consumer Federation of America urging the environmental groups not to be short-sighted when it comes to energy efficiency and consumer protection issues. The organizations were urged to support alternate, more impactful energy-saving gains other than the continual push to ratchet up equipment efficiency standards and regulations on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) equipment.

In the letter, ACCA points out that HVACR systems need be installed according to specific instructions, because they are not “plug-and-play” appliances like a refrigerator. Treating them like a home appliance is misguided and does a disservice to consumers who fail to realize their investments in more efficient products.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology released a study proving that unitary HVACR systems function at 60-70 percent of their lab-tested efficiency if they are not installed properly, and the Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) estimates that most homes suffer from improper installation practices.

To address these issues, ACCA has created nationally-recognized HVACR installation and maintenance standards and programs designed to ensure indoor comfort systems will operate efficiently and safely. If followed, the ANSI/ACCA 5 QI Standard (HVAC Quality Installation Specification) – the minimum design and installation requirements for residential and commercial HVAC applications – ensures that HVACR equipment functions according to the lab-tested efficiency.

“For energy efficiency investments to work, the focus and mindset must change from the misguided lab-tested efficiency to realized, or installed, efficiency of HVACR equipment,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. “These mechanical systems are very complex and require skilled technicians to properly size equipment, ensure the ducts are designed to deliver precise airflow, and to provide adequate refrigerant charges. If these basic elements are not followed, then indoor air quality is jeopardized, the intended performance gains are not realized, and a significant amount of energy is wasted – even by highly efficient ENERGY STAR products.”

You can read the full letter that was sent to the environment groups at

If you have questions about the letter, you may contact Barton James, ACCA senior vice president of government relations at


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ACCA is a non-profit association serving more than 60,000 professionals and 4,000 businesses in the indoor environment and energy services community. Our member firms are the nation's most professional contracting businesses, serving residential and commercial customers in every state. With roots stretching back a century, ACCA was incorporated in its present form nearly 50 years ago. Today, ACCA sets the standards for quality comfort systems, provides leading-edge education for contractors and their employees, and fights for the interests of professional contractors throughout the nation. Learn more about ACCA here.