Frequently Asked Questions about the Next Gen Certification Database

Why did AHRI undertake this project?

The current AHRI Directory, while a huge leap forward from the paper copies (remember those?), was simply not designed for today’s certification program needs. A more comprehensive rationale is available here.

Is data entry easier on the new system?

As with any new system, there will be a learning curve for users, both those who enter data and those who access it. Based on user feedback, AHRI continues to add features to the system to make this as easy and efficient as possible. Once users are familiar with the system, we are confident you will not know how you lived without it.

You can practice by using the testing/training site, at http://nextgen.ahridirectory.org. You may log in using your current Netforum user name and password. Please contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org if you have difficulty logging into or using the test site. In addition, AHRI is preparing a series of training videos for the new site, so watch for announcements about those.

Do Private Brand Marketers (PBMs) have login access to the NextGen system to control/view their own data?

No, PBMs do not have login access to NextGen. Similar to the current Directory system, the corresponding Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will manage data on behalf of the PBM.

Will certificates be available for discontinued listings?

Yes, certificates will be available for discontinued listings. There may be a delay in accessing these certificates until sometime after the launch in January.

What do you do with the testing feedback provided by users?

User feedback guides AHRI in determining the critical features/changes users require for the system to launch. This is one reason why user testing is so important! All feedback is under consideration and is being prioritized by AHRI based on need and feasibility. We can’t promise we can accommodate everything by launch time, but we will launch a useable system. We will continue to fine-tune and enhance the system after the launch.

You can see the reported issues log in the Resources box on this page.

What enhancements are being made before launch?

AHRI believes the most critical enhancements are those which allow data to be entered, edited, and viewed easier and faster. We don’t want any company reporting they are unable to access their data. On that note, here’s a preview of the enhancements to be released in the coming weeks (and before launch):

  • Ability to upload .txt (tab delimited) files to add/edit data, provided these .txt files meet the data expectations (i.e. fields, expected content) of our system. This is in addition to the current functionality which allows you to upload completed .xlsx templates.
  • Filterable mass add and edit templates
  • Filters allowing exclusion of records that are locked for editing from mass edit templates.
  • Moving “Sold In” to the top of the Single Add/Edit Record page so it’s easy to know what fields are required based on Sold In selection
  • Adding Brand and Advanced Search filter criteria to View/Download Licensee Data and OEM Data functions. These additional filters will give participants more flexibility to break down large record sets into manageable and meaningful data sets.
  • Adding Advanced Search filter criteria to Coil Descriptor reports. These filters will give USAC and USHP participants more flexibility to break down large record sets into manageable and meaningful data sets.

Other enhancements will be made as time allows.

AHRI also addresses system problems and program-specific issues such as missing fields or bad validations. Critical ones will be fixed.

I was unable to download the User Guide when I logged into the system. Are you going to fix this?

The user guide was unavailable to some users due to a faulty configuration on our server. This issue is fixed as of 9/26. If anyone continues to experience problems downloading the user guide, please contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org immediately.

I am having trouble logging into the NextGen site. Can you help me?

Two conditions must be met before an individual is capable of logging into the NextGen site and performing any activities as a logged in user:

  1. The user must possess, and enter, an AHRI username and password. This is the same username and password an individual would use to log into AHRI’s website, iSTARS, or to register for AHRI Spring and Annual Meetings.
  2. The user must be configured within the NextGen site, meaning the user is associated with the correct Licensees, Programs, and Login Locations.

If the first condition is not met and the user tries to log in, he/she will receive a “User Name is Not Valid” message. This indicates the user is entering incorrect login information or does not possess an AHRI account. The account will lock after three unsuccessful login attempts, so the user should click the “Forgot Password?” link before that happens. This will instruct the user to enter an email address.

If the entered email address is not recognized, that indicates there is no AHRI account associated with that address. The user should contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org to request an AHRI account.

If the entered email address is recognized, the user will be prompted to enter some questions and information to change the password on the account. After a new password is set, the user may return to the NextGen site and log in with the correct username and password.

If the second condition is not met, when the user logs into the system he/she will not be able to perform any actions because the Licensee Name, Program, and/or Login Locations will appear blank. The user should contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org and AHRI will configure the user’s NextGen permissions.

As always, only individuals representing an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) with a current License Agreement on file with AHRI are given login access to the Directory. Any Private Brand Marketer (PBM) data is managed by the OEM. The NextGen Directory also features login access for data subscribers.

Why is AHRI requiring one brand name per record in NextGen Directory?

The current Directory does not require, but allows, a record to be shared by multiple brands. Multi-branded records have frequently been difficult for end users to search, AHRI has had to create one-off processes to transform these records into a format the California Energy Commission (CEC) would accept, and the records have been difficult to manage when a Licensee wants to make a change to only one of the Brand Names. This has compromised the integrity of the data in some cases. Therefore, the NextGen database requires a record to only have one brand name, each with a unique reference number. As the data is migrated from the current Directory platform to the NextGen platform, multi-branded records have been subject to “brand splitting.” These singularly-branded records have been assigned new reference numbers. To maintain continuity, the NextGen system captures both the “old” (multi-branded) reference number and the new (unique) reference number for the record. A public user searching for a record using the old reference number or the new one will have quick and successful results because the system search functions accept either.

If a PBM record is related to a multi-branded OEM record, that PBM record must be re-paired with one of the singularly-branded OEM records. AHRI contacted affected Licensees to provide this pairing. If not paired correctly, the PBM record will not be migrated to the NextGen system correctly and may not be searchable. Similarly, if an ICM record (unitary air-conditioning and heat pump programs) record is paired with a multi-branded System record, the ICM record must be re-paired with one of the singularly-branded System records. AHRI continues to work with affected ICMs to provide this pairing. If not paired correctly, the ICM record will not be migrated to the NextGen system correctly and may not be searchable.

The benefits of brand-splitting are as follows:

  • Easier searching
  • Flexibility for Licensees to independently assign and manage model statuses and/or product ratings of various Brand/Model Number combinations
  • CEC requires AHRI submitted data by individual brand/model number combination
  • Allows consistent treatment of all records in the database
    • provides repeatable/less risky maintenance of the database structure and reporting tools, including a reduction in one-off manual process and data manipulation scripting
    • paves way for future data analytics or need to split brands for other regulatory bodies, if desired/needed
AHRI acknowledges brand splitting creates significantly more records to manage and view for some participants. The mass add/edit and view/download data features are designed to help. AHRI continues to optimize these features based on user feedback. Prior to launch, AHRI is implementing the following functional changes to ease record handling, expedite the uploading/downloading of data, and allow users to better target the data set of interest:


Single Add Record

Single Edit Record

Add Multiple Records

Edit Multiple Records

View/Download Licensee Data and OEM Data

Coil Descriptor Reports

Moving [Sold In] to top of the data entry screen so non-applicable data fields are greyed out



Acceptance of .txt (tab delimited) upload files


Filterable templates



Addition of filter choice to exclude locked records – users can avoid time spent trying to unsuccessfully edit such records


Addition of Brand (pick one, some, or all) and Advanced Search filters prior to generating data results