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Welcome to David City

Mission Statement:

To enhance the vibrant community of David City by providing a tremendous quality of life defined by outstanding educational and employment opportunities for all citizens through provisions of quality, cost effective governmental services that include infrastructure, utilities, and affordable housing.

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IRIS

May 2017 EnergyWiseSM Tip: SEER or EER
By looking at this article’s title, some may accuse me of a gross misspelling related to visual and
auditory senses. Let me set the record straight. These two acronyms could have a lot to do with
saving you energy while air conditioning this summer!
Both are a measure of how efficiently you are keeping cool using electricity to beat the heat this
summer. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of air-conditioning and air-source
heat pump equipment is the total cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the
total electric energy input. Note that it is the average over an entire cooling season and is
calculated using a constant indoor temperature of 80 degrees F and varying outdoor temperatures
ranging from the 60’s to over 100 degrees.
In contrast, the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of a particular cooling device is the ratio of
output cooling energy to input electrical energy. It is a measure of efficiency at one point with
very specific conditions. Typically, those conditions for calculating EER include an outdoor
temperature of 95°F and inside temperature of 80°F with 50 percent humidity.
EER ratings are more commonly encountered with smaller window-mounted air-conditioners,
water and ground-source heat pumps, as well as commercial HVAC equipment. While
regulations require unitary air conditioners and air-source heat pump systems display SEER
ratings, many display an EER rating as well. While both ratings can be helpful in evaluating
cooling efficiency, you should never compare a SEER against an EER. Ask your HVAC
contractor or local utility for guidance when comparing an air-conditioner or air-source heat
pump to a water or ground-source heat pump.
Prior to 1975, there was no universal standard of measurement for rating HVAC energy
efficiency. With the adoption of the SEER rating, U.S. law regulated by the U.S. Department of
Energy started mandating a minimum efficiency level of 10 SEER in 1992. As of January 2015,
that minimum SEER threshold was raised to 14. Today, cooling systems above 26 SEER are
available.
So what should the average consumer know about these two ratings to make educated
decisions? Simple. Start with Energy Star®. In order to receive recognition as an Energy Star® air
conditioner or air-source heat pump, systems must achieve a SEER rating equal to or above 15.0
and have an EER rating equal to or above 12.5 for split systems (i.e., those that have both indoor
and outdoor components). Packaged systems which have all major assemblies enclosed in a
single cabinet must achieve an EER rating equal to or above 12.0.
So what does a higher efficiency unit save? Consider a sample home in central Nebraska that has
a three ton air conditioner installed in 2000 that has been well-maintained. The owner pays 12¢
per kilowatt-hour of electricity in the summer. Over the course of the cooling season, they spend
$368 by keeping their thermostat set at 78°F. By installing a new 15 SEER unit, they spend
$245, saving $123 a year. If they install an 18 SEER system, they will spend $204 a year to keep
things cool and save $164. Of course, every home is different and actual costs for cooling will
vary. Just remember that EER is important too. Suffice to say energy savings are greater for
systems with both higher SEER and EER ratings.
Your local utility and Nebraska Public Power District want to help you keep cool this summer!
This includes helping you make educated decisions about your air-conditioning or heat pump
system. For more ideas on how you can make your home or business EnergyWiseSM, as well as
financial incentives to help with the cost of your energy-saving upgrades, contact your local
utility or visit www.nppd.com.
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