AHRI Membership Database Updates
AHRI utilizes its customer relationship management database, Netforum, for all AHRI communications. This tool has been updated to reflect the new roles under the AHRI industry sector structure. Before the end of this year, AHRI staff will contact Official Representatives at each AHRI member company to update all critical contacts.
Along with the current contact list for each company, AHRI staff will distribute a full report of all the newly created working groups in which each member is participating. This will be the first full-scale update of AHRI relationships in over a decade, so to ensure that all communications are delivered to the correct individuals, members are requested to diligently review and update all contacts, as well as revise any working group participation in the for their staff.
AHRI Connect is the primary communications tool for AHRI members and invited guests under Reinvent. AHRI Connect serves as the information-sharing tool for working groups, standing committees, and consensus standard project committees (CSPCs), which are represented on AHRI Connect with their own community sites. AHRI Connect is critical to maximizing your company's AHRI membership benefits and staying abreast of important information impacting AHRI members. AHRI Connect users:
- join communities of interest and eligibility
- have 24/7 access to agendas, minutes, and other important files
- access upcoming meeting information
- post and answer questions within a discussion board with community colleagues, rather than through endless email chains
- participate in the editorial process of reviewing and commenting on uploaded documents
- are alerted about issued ballots and ballot outcomes (a future enhancement will allow balloting to happen within an AHRI Connect community)
- customize a list of their product interests, ensuring they are alerted about the formation of new working groups or CSPCs that may be of interest (new working groups are announced exclusively through AHRI Connect)
- receive relevant ad hoc meeting notifications, regulatory information, and standards public commenting period announcements
Training materials and tips for ensuring a successful AHRI Connect experience are available in the AHRI Connect library.
AHRI Member O-Reps will receive a report of their company’s AHRI Connect participants, including communities in which their company is represented, which employees are representing them, and their voting roles.
Centralized AHRI Data Services Support
AHRI’s new help request ticketing system, hosted by FreshDesk, has been in use for eight months, already serving 4,256 tickets with 98 percent resolution. The new system supports customers and users of the AHRI Directory, ACS, iSTARS, and licensed data subscribers. It also provides access to a knowledge base of how-to instructions and gives users the option to create their own user portals. The portal provides centralized access to all of the customer's submitted tickets, including the status and history of responses. In addition to an enhanced user experience, the easy-to-use ticketing system features collaboration tools that allow AHRI staff to work together more efficiently and provide better and faster customer responses.
AHRI Directory: Latest Developments
- AHRI is continuing development work on an enhancement that will allow manufacturers to view the reporting and publication status of their records. As applicable per certification program scope, there will be access to information such as: if a supplemental PDF has been loaded for the model; if the record has been reported to DOE and when (not including annual submission); the last DOE reporting action; the latest CCMS ID; whether it is published in the AHRI Directory; the CEE tier; and whether a record is labeled as ENERGY STAR on the CEE site. This information will provide record assurance and allow for self-auditing of this important data. These new fields have been released for all programs in the View/Download OEM Data feature and will be available across all programs in the View/Download Licensee Data feature in a rolling release through the end of the year.
- AHRI is continuing development on a new system for ENERGY STAR record submission and approval. This enhanced feature will eliminate batching, and will automate the process and create transparency for both AHRI engineers and manufacturers with respect to where models are in the approval process. The WSHP and USAC programs have already been released and the remaining programs are expected to be completed by Q1 2020.
- AHRI has been working closely with the California Energy Commission (CEC) regarding development of an API to transmit reports automatically rather than manually. Several programs have been completed and are awaiting further review from CEC prior to production. Once it is live, AHRI will initially schedule weekly transmission of the reports, with the possibility of increasing the frequency once the system load is assessed.
- Earlier in the year, public search enhancements began with a focus on AHRI’s two biggest programs – unitary air conditioners and unitary heat pumps – which include nearly 3 million records. Due to complex data structures, the initial system response time to pull matches from the search criteria was poor. Developers streamlined stored procedures and table look-up processes to reduce report generation by over 50 percent and allow for sorting across the entire data set of returned results. The remaining certification programs across the quick, advanced, and CEE searches were completed in Q3 of this year.
Changes Planned for 2020 to Unitary Statistical Reports
In an ongoing effort to help ensure the timeliness and accuracy of the statistical reports AHRI generates, and provide members with the most useful information, we are implementing several changes to the unitary reports beginning in 2020. These changes will require coordinated programming changes by both members and AHRI.
Key changes include:
- The U-2-M will be replaced by two new separate unitary ducted reports — one for residential (UR-D-2-M) and one for commercial (UC-D-2-M). Only ducted products will be in these reports.
- The voltage reports (U-8V-2-M and U-8VE-2-M) are being incorporated into the URD-2-M reports, as single and non-single phase. Participants will be required to report voltage in this report.
- The U-IEER-2-M report is being incorporated in to the UC-D-2-M and there will no longer be a UEER-2-M report.
- All ductless products and VRF less than 65 will only be reported in the existing UFD-2-M report.
- The SEER by state reports will only be for ducted products; and the phase by state reports will be split into separate residential (ducted only) and commercial reports.
- Trading area reports (by dealer/distributor) will be eliminated. The more detailed by county reports will still be available. AHRI will also continue to provide trading area zip codes information.
- Three residential by county reports will change to match the other residential by county reports, so that they will all be for BTU ranges less than 65K. Three new reports capturing the range of 54,000 to 64,999 BTU will help with the transition.
Unitary report participants will test the monthly and by state reports in the new format in UAT November 1 through November 15. AHRI will evaluate the results of testing and decide whether to move forward with a February 1, 2020, launch.
Every year there is a greater demand for increased industry data, and it is AHRI’s duty to safeguard this data while producing accurate reports. To continue to produce accurate data for AHRI and its members, we will continue to pursue opportunities to streamline reports for simplicity and expand our offerings in the coming year.