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Display Case Energy Standards

If you are involved with refrigerated display cases you might have heard about a new bill before congress called the BURR Act or Better Use of Refrigerator Regulations # H.R. 5710.  This would amend the EPACT 2005, DOE 10 CFR 431 for the portions pertaining to self-contained, medium temperature, service over counter display cases.  This equipment is now classified as a reach-in refrigerator per the DOE 2010 portion of the energy standards.  But because this style of case is all glass and uses a lot of lighting for display of product it has a large heat load as compared to a reach-in, and cannot meet the standards.

If this bill passes the service over counter (SOC) will have its own class and the energy calculation will be based on TDA (total display area) like all the cases covered by DOE 2012 which included SOC remote and ice cream cases. What this means is that the SOC.SC.M cases will now have a chance at meeting the energy standards.

Energy standards have been in place for reach-in refrigerators for many years, including federal minimum efficiency levels which are now in effect.   They were mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and manufacturers responded.  Since OEMs had already been working on ENERGY STAR models from 2001, it was not a stretch to hit the federal minimum.

The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration NEWS recently reported on this legislation.

Again, depending on the class of equipment, the calculations defined in the energy standards might be based on refrigerated volume, or could be based on total display area.  This is true for ENERGY STAR and other calculations as well, so be aware of what class of equipment is being considered because allowable energy consumption can vary greatly.

Rajan Rajendran, Ph.D
Vice President, Engineering Services and Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Energy standards are important especially for display cases. These types of units need to be as energy efficient as possible while still letting people see the product inside. LED lighting is an excellent choice for these types of cases for several reasons. LEDs emit far less heat than traditional tube lighting thus reducing heat load in the case. This will in turn reduce refrigeration run time. LEDs consume far less power than incandescent or fluorescent lighting. LEDs work extremely well in medium & low temperature applications. Refrigeration accounts for around 20% of energy used worldwide! We need to to whatever possible to run cooling equipment as efficiently as possible. There are many new technologies available including LEDs, Evaporator Fan Controllers & refrigeration economizers like Freeaire Refrigeration that can help reduce electrical consumption.

    October 17, 2012
  2. buynacek #

    The U.S. Senate has now passed H.R. 4850 which is basically the same as the BURR Act. The latest title is Enabling Energy Saving Innovations Act. There are many energy equations involved with commercial refrigerators and display cases. Some equations are based on internal volume and some are based on display area. OEMs must carefully study the product classifications and family definitions to see which equation applies to a specific piece of equipment. We’ll keep watching this and let you know when this legislation becomes law.

    November 5, 2012
  3. Are those the same kind of law that we face in the UK?

    November 14, 2012
  4. refrigerationguy #

    The Institute of Refrigeration has a complete listing of regulations and standards that impact the UK. In addition, Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) publishes standards and guidelines that are used throughout the world and serve as a means to verify manufacturers’ performance claims.

    November 14, 2012
  5. refrigerationguy #

    A new bill called the “American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act” (H.R. 6582) was introduced a few weeks ago that contains regulatory relief measures that affect manufacturers of walk-ins and service-over-the-counter refrigeration units.

    The stated goal of the bill is to allow for innovations and alternative technologies that meet or exceed desired energy efficiency goals, and to make technical corrections to existing Federal energy efficiency laws to allow American manufacturers to remain competitive.

    This bill will ease federal rules that require manufacturers of walk-in coolers to use the most energy-efficient technologies. Alternate technologies can be used instead of the exact prescriptive measures originally spelled out.

    Service over the counter, self-contained, medium temperature commercial refrigerators (SOC–SC–M) have a self-contained condensing unit and sliding or hinged doors in the back intended for use by sales personnel, with glass display front. Each SOC–SC–M manufactured on or after January 1, 2012, shall have a total daily energy consumption (in kilowatt hours per day) of not more than 0.6 × TDA + 1.0.

    December 4, 2012
  6. refrigerationguy #

    H.R. 6582 was voted on December 4, 2012. It passed 398-2 and now must be passed by the Senate.

    December 7, 2012
    • refrigerationguy #

      President Obama signed H.R. 6582 into law on December 18, 2012. The American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act is now law and fixes several glitches with the original law.

      January 2, 2013
  7. Thanks for sharing the valuable insight! I started my own business a few weeks ago and I’m currently browsing for some refrigerated display cases. This will help me make a better decision on which ones to get to ensure that I save money and energy as well.

    November 11, 2013

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