Public policies in the form of laws, regulations, whether in effect or in the proposal stage can significantly impact the design and manufacturer of home appliances. Energy, environment, safety, trade and other issues are monitored closely by AHAM staff and member groups for potential impact on the membership and its customers. Members benefit from AHAM access, intelligence, analysis and advocacy on a wide range of public policy issues. AHAM also provides a lawful forum for members to discuss such issues and respond with responsible policy positions. AHAM positions are developed by its membership divisions through government relations councils and task forces. AHAM testifies before governmental bodies and lobbies on behalf of its the membership in the US and in Canada and coordinates member company advocacy through grassroots legislative network.
AHAM is an ANSI accredited Standards Development Organization. AHAM develops and maintains technical standards for various appliances to provide uniform, repeatable procedures for measuring specific product characteristics and performance features. AHAM maintains twenty five standards, many of which are approved by ANSI as American National Standards through the consensus approval process. AHAM standards also are recognized by many regulatory agencies including the U.S. Department of Energy. Standards are adopted voluntarily by AHAM members in the public interest, to establish common understanding between manufacturers and consumers and to assist consumers in comparing appliances before purchases.
In addition to publishing standards, AHAM also provides regular information and advocacy to members before other standards development organizations such as Underwriters Laboratories, the Canadian Standards Association, American Society for Testing and Materials, International Electrotechnical Commission and International Organization for Standardization.
Certification and Verification
AHAM administers certification programs for room air conditioners, dehumidifiers and room air cleaners. Appliances certified by participants in these voluntary programs carry an AHAM mark which assures consumers that rated product characteristics, including energy ratings, are accurate, using standard test methods. AHAM verifies products rated through this program through a third party testing laboratory. AHAM publishes certification directories listing all models included in the various programs. These directories have proved useful to government regulatory bodies, retailers and consumers. AHAM certification and verification programs are open to members and non-members alike.
AHAM administers factory shipment reports for major appliances which provide critical market information for the US and Canada to participants. AHAMís appliance shipment reports provide the most empirically accurate data in the industry Ė more than 300 unique data reports that measure trends, product characteristics, value and product forecasts. The association also conducts other market and consumer research.
AHAM maintains an active communications program to provide useful appliance related information to the public and well as the industry. Numerous fact sheets related to product safety are published by AHAM to assist consumers. AHAM also works cooperatively with safety agencies and the government to educate the public about proper use of home appliances. In addition to its public education efforts AHAM also manages several member supported promotion programs involving certification programs and various product segments. AHAM also publishes a biweekly electronic newsletter, PLUG into AHAM, which provides regular intelligences to AHAM members in important industry developments.
AHAM conducts and sponsors research on technical matters related to the impact of public policy and standards proposals on appliance performance and related issues. Much of this has been conducted by the Appliance Research Consortium (ARC) an organization formed by AHAM in 1989 to accelerate the research necessary to identify reliable, economic, energy efficient replacements for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in household refrigeration products. In 2000, ARCís charter was expanded to also address other pre-competitive appliance technology issues.