AGA Files “Statement in Support of Petitioners and Non-Binding Statement” in Support of the AHRI, APGA and Spire Inc., Petition Challenging the DOE Commercial Package Boiler Final Rule.
As previously  reported in  Codes and Standards Updates,  that in response to the DOE issuance of its final rule on commercial packaged boiler minimum efficiency requirements, Spire Inc., the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the American Public Gas Association (APGA) filed petitions challenging the final rule minimum efficiency level under the 60-day filing deadline allotted to petitioning final rules. This past Monday, May 18th, AGA filed  a  Statement in Support of Petitioners and Non-Binding Statement” (attached) in this court action. We will continue providing updates on this issue as it progresses through the courts and hopefully the court will remand the DOE final rule back to the department for its reconsideration. If the court rules for remanding , it will provide for a renewed DOE rulemaking activity that will most likely be conducted under the new DOE “Process” rule that can result in a more reasonable outcome for natural gas packaged boilers then what DOE finalized.
AGA BECS Committee Fact Sheet on the 3’ Distance Requirement to Source of Ignition in the National Fuel Gas Code (NFGC).
At this past January 15-16, 2020 BECS Committee meeting in New Orleans, the attendees  requested a new AGA Fact Sheet be developed on the origins of 3-ft distance from a line gas pressure regulator vent outlet to a source of ignition provision in the NFGC. This requirement has been the subject of substantial discussion in the field since it impacts gas meter set  and service pressure regulator installation and positioning distance requirements.    A draft Fact Sheet was circulated to the committee in March and the final version has been updated to include comments received from committee members. The final version  includes a discussion of the federal regulations related to utility owned meter sets and the results of the 2017 GTI project to evaluate the 3-ft requirement.   The new Fact Sheet (attached)  will be useful in addressing questions from code officials, gas installers, etc. on the gas piping installation clearance requirements. Please feel free to make it available to the appropriate personnel and departments as you see fit.
DOE Issues Request for Information Pertaining to Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Water Heaters.
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)  issued a  Federal Register Notice initiating a data collection process through this request for information (RFI), to consider whether to amend DOE’s current energy conservation standards for residential water heaters. This RFI solicits information to help DOE determine whether amended standards for consumer water heaters would result in significant energy savings and whether such standards would be technologically feasible and economically justified.
The BECS Committee is requested to review the RFI and provide comments to us  particularly on the specific DOE questions to determine any action as deemed necessary. BECS staff will also  reviewing the RFI and developing draft comments on the DOE requested information.
DOE Hosting June 2nd Virtual Workshop on Next-Generation HVAC R&D Topics.
With the high interest of the natural gas industry  in the next-generation Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) developments,  the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) is seeking input from industry stakeholders regarding next-generation HVAC R&D topics. The workshop can be a useful forum to discuss the next generation of natural gas products and applications.  DOE is seeking feedback on topics for future workshops including indoor air quality, large commercial HVAC systems, combustion components, systems & fuels, etc.  To support this activity, DOE is holding a virtual workshop on June 2nd from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET. Note that this introductory webinar will be followed by topic-specific sessions.
Virtual Workshop Details:
BTO supports the development of next-generation HVAC technologies that provide cost-effective energy efficiency and grid flexibility. By engaging key stakeholders, BTO hopes to gather input regarding three key issues:
  1. Next-generation technology development priorities
  2. Challenges and barriers to successfully commercializing next-generation HVAC technologies
  3. Major gaps in academic, government, and commercial R&D efforts
Workshop Sessions
Kick-off Webinar – June 2, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
  • This webinar will clarify the objectives, scope, and context of the upcoming Topic-Specific R&D Discussions
  • Discuss logistics for the Topic-Specific R&D Discussions
  • Answer stakeholder questions
Topic-Specific R&D Discussions – To be held following the Kick-off Webinar
  • Dates, times, and instructions for signing up for these Topic-Specific R&D Discussions will be provided during and following the Kick-off Webinar.
  • Objectives:
    • Provides forum for stakeholders to discuss the emerging technology within a particular HVAC topic area
    • Opportunity for DOE to gather information on emerging HVAC technologies from industry stakeholders
Register for the June 2nd webinar here.
BECS Staff Completes Initial Public Comment Support for Members Responding to Attacks on Natural Gas Cooking in California Energy Standard Proceeding.
In response to public comments submitted to the California Energy Commission (CEC) on its planned 2022 edition revisions to the state energy standard, Title 24, AGA’s Ted Williams provided SoCal Gas  with an analysis of the comments  submitted by the  Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)  to the proceedings. The RMI comments attacked natural gas cooking as threating California residents’ health and safety based upon combustion emissions and alleged indoor air quality (IAQ) impacts.  The analysis is available on the BECS Committee SharePoint site, linked here, and was discussed in earlier “Friday Updates.”  This week,  BECS staff reviewed the draft comments to the Title 24 proceeding being prepared by SoCal Gas for eventual presentation to CEC.  Once the comments are officially posted to the docket, a link to those comments will be made available.
State Codes Activity Update
[This is a weekly feature of the “Friday Update” covering state code calendar activities as presented by the online utility “Fiscal Note,” which is sponsored by APGA and AGA Code and Standards.]
Recent Activity Alerts
Monday, April 27, the City Council voted to extend the effective date of Denver’s Building and Fire Code to July 31, 2020. The new code was originally scheduled to take effect on April 30. As a result of the extension, applicants can continue to submit projects using the 2016 Building and Fire Code through July 31, 2020.
The Building Code division has been working with its advisory boards to adopt the new codes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the division’s ability to adopt the next edition of the OESC, ORSC, and OPSC on schedule has been interrupted.
Recent and Upcoming Code Body Meetings
State Building Code Council (SBCC) Meeting
Zoning Administrator Commission
Building Code Administrators and Inspectors Board
Bills with Recent Activity
Bill #
Bill Title
Primary Sponsor(s)
Last Action
Last Action Date
Adds provisions relating to the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code
Ron Hicks (R)
In House; Referred: General Laws(H)
Summary: This bill adopts the 2019 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code. The International Swimming Pool and Spa Code shall apply to all construction, alteration, remodeling, enlargement, and repair of swimming pools and spas in any county or municipality that elects to regulate pools or spas.
Building standards: decks and balconies: inspection.
Scott Wilk (R)
In Senate; Referral to Com. on B., P. & E.D. rescinded due to the shortened 2020 Legislative Calendar.