The Department of Energy's (DOE) new minimum efficiency requirements will begin on January 1, 2023.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) new minimum efficiency requirements will begin on January 1, 2023. The changes affect all newly manufactured residential and manufactured housing air conditioners and heat pumps. There are new, more stringent testing procedures to determine the SEER rating of units. The new testing methods more accurately reflect field conditions. The change in testing procedures will reduce efficiency ratings versus the current SEER, EER, and HSPF ratings. As such, new metrics and nomenclature were developed.

New Efficiency Standards

  • NOW

  • per
  • SEER
  • EER
  • HSPF
  • JANUARY 1, 2023

  • per
  • SEER2
  • EER2
  • HSPF2

Why Change Efficiency Regulations?

Every six years, the DOE evaluates current technology, its efficiency, and the cost of technology to determine the balance between price and environmental savings. The goal of the new requirements is to reduce energy usage. Under the new guidelines, consumers should see a reduction in their utility costs.

New Refrigerant Regulations

A new, more environmentally friendly refrigerant, R-454b, will replace R-410A. In addition, the new refrigerant can make air conditioners more efficient, which will save homeowners money. The current refrigerant, R-410A, is a hydrofluorocarbon. While HFCs are ozone friendly, they are potent greenhouse gasses. The new refrigerant has only a fraction of the Global Warming Potential of R-410a or Freon®.  

According to a leading industry expert, even if your Air conditioner is only ten years old, you may save 20% to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. The savings could reach as much as $10,000 over ten years.

FAQ's

The new Energy Efficiency Ratings will reduce energy usage and utility bills.

Effective January 1, 2023, all contractors must sell equipment that meets the new DOE minimum efficiency standards.

Climate is a driving factor in the determination. In warmer climates, homeowners use more energy to cool their homes. Therefore, they represent the most significant opportunity for energy savings. As climate change becomes an even more significant issue, HVAC companies need to develop sustainable, eco-friendly products.

The new refrigerant requirement could save the equivalent of 27 million household usage. That translates to about $38 billion in utility savings.

The new Energy Efficiency Ratings will reduce energy usage and utility bills.

Split Air Conditioners - 2023 Regional Standards

North Region

  • SYSTEM TYPE

  • per
  • Split System ACs (AC < 45K BTU)
  • Split System ACs (AC > 45K BTU)
  • NORTH REGION

  • per
  • 2015 Minimum Rating 13.0 SEER
  • 2015 Minimum Rating 13.0 SEER
  • NEW SEER

  • per
  • 14.0 SEER
  • 14.0 SEER
  • NEW SEER2

  • per
  • 13.4 SEER2
  • 13.4 SEER2

Southeast Region

  • SYSTEM TYPE

  • per
  • Split System ACs (AC < 45K BTU)
  • Split System ACs (AC > 45K BTU)
  • SOUTHEAST REGION

  • per
  • 2015 Minimum Rating 14.0 SEER
  • 2015 Minimum Rating 14.0 SEER
  • NEW SEER

  • per
  • 15.0 SEER
  • 14.5 SEER
  • NEW SEER2

  • per
  • 14.3 SEER2
  • 13.8 SEER2

Southwest Region

  • SYSTEM TYPE

  • per
  • Split System ACs (AC < 45K BTU)
  • Split System ACs (AC > 45K BTU)
  • SOUTHWEST REGION

  • per
  • 2015 Minimum Rating 14.0 SEER & 12.2 SEER/11.7 EER***
  • 2015 Minimum Rating 14.0 SEER & 12.2 SEER/11.7 EER***
  • NEW SEER

  • per
  • 15.0 SEER and 12.2 EER*
  • 14.5 SEER and 11.7EER*
  • NEW SEER2

  • per
  • 14.3 SEER2 and 11.7 EER2**
  • 13.8 SEER2 and 11.2 EER2**
*10.2 EER if SEER > 16.0 ** 9.8 EER2 if SEER2 > 15.2 ***12.2 EER if <45K BTU, 11.7 EER if >45K BTU

Split System Heat Pumps

  • SYSTEM TYPE

  • per
  • Split System Heat Pumps
  • 2015 SEER AND HSPF MINIMUM RATING

  • per
  • 14.0 SEER and 8.2 HSPF
  • NEW SEER2 AND HSPF2

  • per
  • 14.3 SEER2 and 7.5 HSPF2

Packaged Units

  • SYSTEM TYPE

  • per
  • Packaged Units
  • 2015 SEER AND HSPF MINIMUM RATING

  • per
  • 14.0 SEER and 8.0 HSPF
  • NEW SEER2 AND HSPF2

  • per
  • 13.4 SEER2 and 6.7 HSPF2

Additional Resources

U.S. Department of Energy

energy.gov

EPA and DOE Energy Efficiency

energystar.gov

U.S. Government's National Archives

federalregister.gov

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

epa.gov

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