Commercial Refrigeration Efficiency Standards
Early in August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a decision denying industry’s petition for review of U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed commercial refrigeration test procedure and efficiency standards published in 2014.
The decision means manufacturers of commercial refrigeration products, like Minus Forty, must be ready to comply with the new standards by March 27, 2017.
The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) reports that at every step, the court deferred to the agency.
“Arguing against an agency is always an uphill battle, but the amount of deference the court exhibits in the opinion is much greater than what we have seen in other cases,” says Jeff Longsworth, NAFEM Legal Counsel. According to Longsworth, the court seemed reluctant to grasp the technical integrity issues raised by NAFEM and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which collaborated on the filing.
“We knew this was a risk, but we had faith that the court would do their job – especially given the excellent help from members in breaking the information into bite-sized pieces for a lay person to understand. It’s disheartening that the court did not look beyond the DOE’s words and into the substance and technical impact of the case.”
Commercial refrigeration and our customers
For our customers, this means a smaller environmental footprint and reduced operating expenses with energy savings of up to 50%.
But it doesn’t mean you have to wait until the end of March, when the new standards commence, to upgrade your freezers and coolers. As soon as we got wind of the potential for new regulations, we got to work re-engineering ours. We began releasing DOE 2017 compliant product in January of 2017 on a model by model basis (starting with our more popular models first).
This new generation of commercial freezers and refrigerators employs:
- Environmentally friendly hydrocarbon based refrigerants (R290) which replace hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants that possessed high Global Warming Potential
- New glass door tech to eliminating the need for door heaters that are used to prevent the formation of condensation.
- New glass door tech to improve the insulating value of glass doors.
- Reengineered EC motors to reduce motor energy consumption by up to 70%.
So whenever you decide to upgrade your freezers, whether it’s today or 5 years from today, you can be sure the new units will exceed the standards set out by the U.S. DOE.