Ban on Electric Heaters DeniedBy Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff Writer Published: June 29th, 2010
It’s the end of the line for a proposed change to the building sector code that would have banned future production of electric resistance heaters, a popular heating source for many co-op consumer-members in cold-weather states.
A coalition of utility associations, including NRECA, mobilized successfully to kill the suggested change to the International Energy Conservation Code that would have affected equipment used as a home’s primary energy source.
The proposal, issued by IECC in March, would have banned future production of thermal storage systems, which are used by many electric co-ops.
Proponents of the change withdrew the proposal June 28, in part because the number of public comments received on the issue raised several caveats that need further exploration.
“The proposal was too broad based on the number of technologies out there,” said Don Vigneau of Northeast Energy Efficient Partnerships, adding that he was surprised by the volume of public comments. “We decided that we did not have adequate descriptions of what we felt should and should not be covered” by the proposal, he said.
Vigneau and other supporters of the ban have said that electric space heating systems are “wasteful and expensive.”
However, the heaters are economical because they use low-cost, off-peak energy to store heat in ceramic bricks capable of heating homes at all hours, according to opponents of the proposed ban, which included NRECA, the American Public Power Association and the Edison Electric Institute. Another coalition active in the effort was the North American Electric Heating Coalition.
“We appreciate all of the assistance and help we received from our members who wrote in opposing the proposal,” said John Holt, NRECA’s manager of fuels and generation. “Their voices were heard.”
While the proposal won’t be submitted at the International Code Council’s final action hearings, set for October in Charlotte, N.C., the issue of electric resistance heating will get some floor time, said Vigneau. He said ICC representatives will discuss exceptions set forth in the comments.
Tags: Energy Efficiency