ASHRAE and the WHPA – An Energy Efficiency Collaboration


ASHRAE standards and guidelines set the bar for HVAC&R and energy efficiency around the globe, and are used by stakeholders across the entire HVAC industry.

Don Tanaka

How important are ASHRAE standards? Here’s Don Tanaka, who has represented organized labor (United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada) on the WHPA Executive Committee since the WHPA’s founding in 2009.

"I call ASHRAE the godfather of HVACR rules and regulations – knowledgeable technicians all live by them. If a customer asks why we did something a certain way we just tell them, ‘These are the ASHRAE guidelines.'"

Standard 180 and Proposed Standard 221

At the June ASHRAE Annual Conference in Long Beach, WHPA members worked to further develop ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180 (Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems). Other WHPA members participated in the ASHRAE project committee to finalize the draft of Proposed Standard 221 (see accompanying story), a test method to measure and score the operating performance of an installed constant volume unitary HVAC system.

From a handshake to a partnership

In just eight short years, the WHPA has developed a relationship with ASHRAE that has contributed to two ASHRAE standards. The story of how ASHRAE and WHPA came together is worth telling because it illustrates what happens when exceptional people with vision and dedication work together.

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Proposed ASHRAE Std. 221 May Change Field Testing

There’s a relatively new but fast-moving partnership between the WHPA and ASHRAE for ASHRAE Proposed Standard 221. At the June ASHRAE Summer Meeting a vote was taken to finalize the draft of the Proposed Standard and progress to a public comment period.

Rob Falke

The proposed 65-page standard was drafted in less than a year, including a review of more than 1,000 comments. Rob Falke is President of National Comfort Institute, which has taught the test method that was the origin of proposed Standard 221 for more than 15 years. He has worked on this standard as both a WHPA Committee Chair and also on the ASHRAE Committee that was formed to advance the work. He said, “This has been an incredibly fast path toward becoming an ASHRAE Standard. The level of feedback, interpretation, correction, and improvement from ASHRAE with the core from WHPA has been key.”

Rob Falke is chair of the Commercial Quality Installation Committee, which sponsors the work at the WHPA Committee level. He describes Proposed Standard 221 as basically a test method to measure and score the performance of an installed HVAC system.

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The following chronology on the ASHRAE/WHPA relationship is by Dale Gustavson, facilitator of the first WHPA meeting and founding Chief of Staff, WHPA.

Dale Gustavson

2008 – California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan directs Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) to develop HVAC programs on the foundation of ANSI-accredited HVAC industry standards.

2008 – Following two years of work by an ASHRAE committee, chaired by Bob Baker, the first version of ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180 for Commercial Quality Maintenance is published by ASHRAE. 2009 – WHPA kickoff meeting. ASHRAE’s president-elect Ron Jarnagin is in attendance representing ASHRAE

2009 – 2010 – The WHPA’s Commercial Quality Maintenance (CQM) Committee, chaired by Don Langston representing ACCA, forms the Standard 180 Subcommittee that reviews every word of the standard in weekly meetings for six months. The subcommittee reports that the standard is suitable for IOU HVAC programs, but needs to include a section on economizers.

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WHPA Work Products on Standard 180

PG&E Leads California on ACEEE Energy Efficiency Scorecard

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released its first Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard in July, after compiling data from the 51 largest electric utilities in the US based on their energy efficiency policies and programs in 2015.

PG&E was ranked as the third in the country, and also led California as the top-placed utility in the state on the scorecard. PG&E placed third in each main category, quantitative savings and spending performance; program diversity and emerging areas; and savings targets, business models and evaluation.

The scorecard reported that PG&E helped customers save $227 million on their energy bills through energy efficiency programs.


2017 Work Products on Compliance and Permitting

The Compliance Committee and its Online Permitting Working Group completed three Work Products in 2017, completing work that began in 2016. These are significant bodies of work and thanks go to all the committee and working group members who contributed.

  • HVAC Compliance Definition Matrix - Summary / Worksheet

    The worksheet developed by the Compliance Committee, chaired by Bob Barks of CALBO, is a compliance definition matrix detailing the meanings to each market actor and the factors the affecting understanding of compliance.
  • Minimum Legal Requirements for a Building Permit Memo

    The purpose of this memo is to identify the minimum requirements for any building permit that can then be used as baseline criteria upon which an online permitting framework can be designed. This Memo was developed by the Online Permitting Working Group, which was chaired by Allison Paul of the California Homebuilding Foundation Construction Industry Research Board.
  • Legislative and Regulatory Policy Issues Affecting Online Permitting Memo

    This Memo, also developed by the Online Permitting Working Group, summarizes several recent pieces of legislation that have some influence over permitting and compliance. The specific legislation reviewed includes AB 802, SB 350 and SB 1414.
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