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Time Is Running out for Foodservice OEMs to Meet DOE Compliance

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) final rule on stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment goes into effect on March 27, 20171, requiring on average a 30–50 percent2 reduction in energy consumption. Foodservice OEMs who are still offering non-compliant equipment after March 2017 face the potential for DOE civil penalties. But the 2017 DOE deadline isn’t the only regulatory challenge facing OEMs. Less than two years later, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SNAP delisting ruling3 will phase out the common refrigerants R-404A and HFC-134a in the same class of equipment. This perfect regulatory storm is presenting foodservice OEMs with unprecedented system design challenges.


The timing of these two regulations is forcing OEMs to make a difficult choice: either deal with each regulation separately or combine efforts to comply into a single design cycle. Here’s what foodservice OEMs need to know about the convergence of DOE and EPA regulations:

  • OEMs must act now to comply with the DOE energy reduction mandate on reach-in, stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment — on average 30–50 percent
  • EPA is phasing out R-404A and HFC-134a in reach-in equipment on January 1, 2019, in favor of low-global warming potential refrigerants
  • All equipment not listed in the DOE compliance certification management system (CCMS) may be subject to civil penalties
  • Design consultants and end users will soon be seeking DOE- and EPA-compliant units; non-compliant OEMs may assume significant business risks
  • OEMs must choose: one design cycle or two
  • Completing the engineering design cycle will take time

Emerson Climate Technologies Has the Expert Resources to Ensure Compliance

If you’re an OEM who has hasn’t begun to think about DOE compliance, we are here to help guide you through this rapid transition. No two systems are alike, and we understand that achieving compliance is more than just changing the engine under the hood — it’s about looking at the efficiency of the whole system, from doors, lighting and insulation to controls and compressors.

Our Design Services Network offers the certifications and accreditations to ensure your equipment is compliant, including:

  • UL and EPA approved as a third party test lab
  • Fully accredited with ISO 17025
  • Approved by the California Energy Commission

For years we’ve been developing the next generation of DOE- and EPA-rated and certified components across our complete product portfolio. We have specific products that meet these requirements, including: Copeland Scroll™ line expansions to include smaller displacements, horsepower and capacities; high-efficiency hermetic and semi-hermetic reciprocating compressors in fractional horsepower that deliver double-digit energy efficiency gains; and condensing units designed to maintain existing stand-alone footprints. We have the breadth of products, knowledge and resources to help you address each regulation separately or combine compliance into a single design cycle.

It’s not too late to comply, but the clock is ticking. We’re ready to help you make the right decision for your business, so let us know how we can help you achieve compliance and answer your questions.



E360 Forums Coming to Newark, N.J., and Tucson, Ariz.

Change is inevitable — especially within today’s HVACR industry. Looming EPA and DOE regulations are coming. Trying to stay up to speed on how these could impact your business can feel daunting — not to mention the multitude of new technologies that have recently come to market. Let’s face it: there’s a lot to decipher in order to make informed business decisions these days.


Knowing that, we’ll continue to bring our free, informative E360 Forums to you. Be sure to reserve your spot at these upcoming E360 Forums:

  • August 24: Newark, New Jersey, at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
  • October 12: Tucson, Arizona, at The Westin La Paloma

register now

Join us and we’ll help you make sense of what lies ahead to make sure you’re ready for the future of HVACR.

Topics include:

  • Refrigerant Regulations Update
  • CO2 Systems: Trends, Benefits and ROI
  • System Upgrades That Impact Sustainable Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings
  • Understanding Leak Detection and Implementing Effective Programs
  • How Can Refrigeration Architecture Help Improve Operating Efficiencies? [Newark only]
  • Understanding Applications for Alternate Refrigerants
  • How to Meet 2017/2020 Energy Regulations
  • The Case for R-290
  • Enterprise Management and Communicating Kitchens
  • How BMS, EMS, IoT and Insights Are Changing Retailer Operations [Tucson only]

There will also be a special industrial refrigeration breakout session at the Newark E360 Forum which will feature discussions on:

  • Introduction to Combined Heat and Power
  • Project Certainty: Achieving Top Quartile Project Performance Through Proven Methodologies
  • Natural Refrigerant Alternatives for the Industrial Marketplace

We hope to see you!

Refrigerant Leak Detection: Four Areas for Retailers to Consider

Do you have a refrigerant leak detection program in place? I recently wrote an article featured in Convenience Store Decisions addressing best practices for retailers on this topic.

LeakCheck-02Effective refrigerant leak detection strategies can help retailers with savings not only at the individual store level, but across an entire enterprise. Refrigerant leaks are caused by a number of factors and can occur in any system. Facilities using commercial HVACR equipment that implement refrigerant best management practices will ultimately reduce their consumption of refrigerant, affecting their bottom line and sustainability efforts.

Here are four areas that retailers should focus on for effective leak detection programs:

  1. Establish a zero-tolerance policy for refrigerant leaks: Convenience store leaders should clearly communicate the importance of detecting and minimizing leaks throughout all levels of their organization. We also recommend developing a refrigerant management plan, including a mission statement that does not tolerate leaks.
  2. Utilize automatic detection to track leaks: Install Automatic Leak Detection (ALD) equipment, which is critical to detecting leaks, issuing notifications, and continuous monitoring and reporting. Leak detection alarms can be integrated into a facility management system, and remote monitoring can assist with management of leak notifications as well as preventive measures.
  3. Analyze data to identify trends and implement actions: Through utilization of leak detection technologies, retailers can begin to use that data to correlate the leaks with specific equipment or sites that are causing the problems, and then apply focused efforts to improve those issues. Monitoring and analyzing the system data to identify potential leaks early on will help prevent these costly minor leaks.
  4. Institute proper maintenance procedures: Performing regular preventive maintenance on refrigeration systems will ultimately save retailers more. It’s important to have proper maintenance procedures in place to minimize leak rates.

You can read the full Convenience Store Decisions article online here.

  For more than 20 years, Emerson Retail Solutions has been helping businesses like yours safeguard food, reduce energy consumption, protect the environment and optimize business results. To learn more about our technology solutions and services for retailers, visit our website.

 John Wallace
Director of Innovation, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies

College Students Conceptualize the Supermarket of the Future

E-week challenge calls for a fresh approach and new thinking

Emerson Climate Technologies hosted the University of Dayton’s E-week Innovation Challenge at Emerson’s new Helix Innovation Center. The entrepreneurial student club EMpwr and engineering-based KEEN organization also co-sponsored the challenge.


Read more

Safety codes for flammable refrigerants are under revision; HFC phase-down continues

Flammable refrigerant alternatives are becoming increasingly viable as global environmental regulations push the HVACR industry toward low-GWP refrigerants. Naturally occurring hydrocarbons (HC) such as propane (R-290) and a new class of hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) refrigerant blends are among the most likely flammable refrigerants to be considered as replacements. Since these low-GWP options have varying degrees of flammability, they’re subject to requisite standards to ensure safe operating and handling protocols.


In the current industry landscape, there are a number of organizations that have developed codes and standards to manage the safe use of flammable refrigerants. Since the majority of today’s safety standards were developed prior to the increased emphasis on green refrigerant alternatives, many are now currently under revision to include A2L and A3 refrigerants with the intent to evaluate their potential use with modern equipment, applications and system architectures.

While we can’t predict the extent of the code changes, we can report on the most relevant safety standards currently under revision:

ASHRAE Standard 34
In the U.S., ASHRAE Standard 34 defines the flammability and toxicity classification of refrigerants, with the letters A and B designating lower and higher toxicity, and the numbers 1, 2 and 3 denoting the level of flammability from none, lower and higher flammability, respectively. For example, R-290 is classified as A3, meaning it has lower toxicity and higher flammability. This standard was recently updated to include the flammability subclass of 2L for refrigerants that burn slower than those designated as Class 2. Newer HFO blends, such as R-1234yf, fall into this A2L classification.

ASHRAE Standard 15
ASHRAE Standard 15 is the U.S. safety standard for refrigeration system design, construction, installation and operation. It adopts the classifications set forth in ASHRAE 34, and is under revision in part due to the inclusion of the A2L classification. The current standard also prohibits the use of A3 and B3 refrigerants except where approved by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Once Standard 15 is revised, ASHRAE will propose revising the building model codes in the U.S.

UL standards
UL 1995 is the most recent Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listing pertaining to HVACR; it does not address flammable refrigerants. However, it is being revised in accordance with the international standard, IEC 60335-2-40, which is currently under revision to include the introduction of A2Ls.

International standards
In addition to the IEC revision mentioned, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is in the process of revising its codes that affect heating and cooling equipment, commercial refrigeration appliances, and ice and ice cream machines, including: IEC 60335-2-89 and IEC 60335-2-24. It’s widely anticipated that the standards around charge limits — for both A3 and A2L refrigerants — will be included in the IEC’s revisions.

While exact timing on regulatory matters is difficult to predict, we expect some movement in these areas through 2017 due to the urgency of HC and HFO adoption.

New SNAP proposal

The EPA recently issued another SNAP proposal1 regarding the listing status of certain high-GWP refrigerants deemed as “unacceptable” in specific applications. Although the new proposal is relatively smaller in scope, there are a few potential impacts to be aware of, including:

  • Listing of R-290 as an acceptable alternative in commercial ice makers, water coolers and very low-temperature refrigeration equipment
  • Exempting R-290 from the Clean Air Act’s section 608 venting prohibition
  • R-404A will be unacceptable in soft-serve, frozen carbonated beverage and slush machines as of Jan. 1, 2021
  • R-404A will be unacceptable in cold storage warehouse by Jan. 1, 2023

Per usual, the EPA will accept public comments to the proposal for 45 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register.

This blog originally appeared in our recent edition of E360 Outlook. Click here to read the issue in its entirety.



Rajan Rajendran
V.P.,Systems Innovation Center And Sustainability
Emerson Climate Technologies



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