Per the criteria in Section 4B, communication hardware needed to enable connected functionality may either be built in to the product, or provided via an external module or device. If an external module/device is used, it shall be either: a) shipped with the appliance; b) provided to the consumer at the time of sale, or c) provided within a reasonable amount of time after the sale. While the Agency provided some flexibility in the final RAC specification as noted in option c, EPA wishes to make clear that this option is not intended to allow manufacturers to take an existing RAC model in the marketplace, and simply sell an add-on external module/device for purposes of making it connected. Rather, it is EPA’s intention that ENERGY STAR RACs with connected functionality include, at time of product shipment or sale, all required elements to deliver this functionality. If option c must be used, manufacturers should provide communication hardware to the consumer in as seamless of a package as possible, with minimal, if any wait time and at no separate cost. Further, manufacturers shall ensure that consumers are provided clear instructions on the availability of a module and a simple process to request its delivery.
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