Efficiency Changes for Air Conditioners in Delaware
Big changes are coming to Delaware homeowner’s who are looking to buy air conditioning or heat pump systems after January 1, 2023.
Every six years the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) looks at their established efficiency standards. The last time they did this was in 2017.
For 2023, the DOE is increasing the minimum efficiency for central air conditioners and heat pumps. Efficiency is measured by SEER, which is a laboratory test. The way that this test is done will change as well. This could mean a lot to consumers and their pocketbooks.
To meet these new standards, all manufacturers will be required to retest their air conditioners and heat pumps using the new, tougher rules.
The DOE divided the country into sections. Delaware and Maryland are considered to be in the Southeast part of the country. Starting on January 1, 2023, the minimum efficiency that we can install in this region is 15 SEER for air conditioners and heat pumps. Right now, the minimum is 14 SEER.
This doesn’t seem like a very big change, but read on.
New 2023 Testing Requirements
The new requirements will have more of an impact on homeowners in Delaware and Maryland. Along with a higher minimum efficiency for new equipment, there will also be changes to testing requirements for HVAC systems and equipment.
These will better reflect real world conditions. Basically, this means that when the new testing is put in place, efficiency ratings will be lowered for existing equipment. The same unit that was rated as a 16 SEER unit in 2022 will have a rating of 15.2 SEER in 2023.
Why is this important?
Many of the rebates and tax credits that you can receive are based on the SEER rating system. As an example, there is a Federal Tax Credit that encourages you to buy new high-efficiency equipment. If you purchase a qualifying 16 SEER air conditioner before 12/31/22 – you can receive $300 off your tax bill this year! (Source: Energy Star)
The same is true for energy rebates through Energize Delaware.
But remember when we said that the same unit rated as 16 SEER today will be rated at 15.2 SEER at the beginning of 2023 because of the tougher testing? After January 1, 2023, you will need more sophisticated equipment to reach the 16 SEER level required for this tax credit. More sophisticated means more expensive.
We expect pricing for the new higher efficiency equipment will go up as well. Manufacturers are making significant changes to their products to meet the new requirements. Typically, when new energy regulations are implemented, equipment prices go up. These costs are passed on to the consumer. New equipment prices are expected to rise 15% to 20% in 2023 and beyond. This in addition to the cost of moving to more sophisticated equipment.
The new regulations will make air conditioners much more efficient. This will translate to less energy consumption and increased savings for consumers.
If you are thinking of replacing your air conditioner or heat pump, it makes good financial sense to do so now rather than waiting until 2023.
Contact Burns & McBride for more information