On Sept. 19, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft of revised Energy Star specifications for geothermal heat pumps. The draft is largely based on a proposal submitted by the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute.

Key changes proposed by EPA include:
  • New requirements for water-to-water heat pumps

  • More stringent efficiency levels for water-to-air and direct exchange systems

  • Third-party certification by AHRI (or other organizations as approved by EPA) for all Energy Star qualified products effective Aug. 1, 2010

  • Requirement to offer rather than automatically include a means to provide domestic water heating through the use of a desuperheater, integrated demand water heater, or stand-alone demand water heating system
The proposed specification has three efficiency tier levels, with the first tier being effective Dec. 1, 2009, the second Aug. 1, 2010, and the third tier Jan. 1, 2012. 

Source: AHRI