Goettl Air Conditioning, a small manufacturer based in Phoenix, joined Goodman Manufacturing, maker of Amana appliances, in urging the Bush administration to abandon its plans to roll back the residential central air conditioner and heat pump standard (see this month's "Wheeler on HVACR").

Karl Rove, senior advisor to President Bush, had cited the impacts on small manufacturers as the major reason for weakening the central air conditioner and heat pump standard from a seasonal energy efficiency ratio of 13 to a SEER of 12.

"We are in favor of using proven energy efficiency technology that is available to us today," wrote Goettl President Daniel H. Burke to Rove and Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. "Higher energy efficiency technology to produce 13 SEER units has been available to small manufacturers like us for a number of years. By the time the new efficiency standard is implemented in 2006, we will have been producing 13 SEER air conditioners for almost 10 years. Goettl Air Conditioning encourages you to reconsider your decision and support raising the efficiency standard to a level of 13 SEER."

In a similar letter to Abraham asking for the administration to raise the standard, John Goodman, chairman of Goodman Manufacturing, wrote: "We believe a higher energy efficiency standard would help address consumer energy needs while providing a pollution reduction solution to states trying to meet tough air quality requirements established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"Goodman has independently funded various efforts that demonstrate unequivocally that moving to 13 SEER is a cost-effective way to reduce energy requirements, high-energy costs to the consumer, and harmful air emissions. This can all be accomplished with existing technology."

Major industry manufacturers - Carrier, Trane, Lennox and Rheem - filed a lawsuit to block the standard issued in January by the Clinton administration and lobbied the Bush administration for the rollback.

The Bush administration announced on April 13 that it intended to withdraw the SEER 13 standard and propose a new standard by mid-June and a final standard in August or September.