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Are You Prepared to Meet Rapidly Approaching Energy Regulations?

The commercial refrigeration industry is in the midst of an unprecedented transition. Over the next several years, the Department of Energy (DOE) is mandating significant reductions in energy consumption on commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE). During this period, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also scheduled the phase-down of commonly used A1, hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, aligning with international efforts to limit the global warming potential (GWP) of refrigeration systems. The timing and combination of these regulations will impact the entire supply chain, in particular the OEMs tasked with making design changes to achieve compliance.

In our recent E360 Webinar, entitled How to Meet 2017/2020 Energy Regulations, we looked at the latest changes in the regulatory landscape and discussed strategies for ensuring compliance. Hosted by Emerson’s Ani Jayanth, foodservice marketing manager, and Brian Buynacek, senior refrigeration engineer and marketing consultant, the Webinar took a closer look at the three primary equipment classes affected by the coming DOE regulations:

  • Reach-in, stand-alone display cases — 30 to 50 percent energy reductions, measured in kWh/day, are required on new equipment as of March 27, 2017.
  • Automatic commercial ice makers (ACIW) — 5 to 25 percent energy reductions, measured in kWh/100 lbs of ice, are required on new equipment as of Jan. 1, 2018.
  • Walk-in coolers and freezers (WICF) — 20 to 40 percent reductions, measured according to the AHRI-1250 testing standard of annual walk-in energy factor (AWEF), are required on new equipment as of Jan. 1, 2020.

Ani and Brian pointed out a couple of very important notes when considering these compliance targets. First, it’s important to understand that there are equipment classes within each category, each with its own equation with which to calculate energy efficiency. The Webinar covered these calculations in greater detail.

Second, it’s also important to consider the implications of the EPA delisting schedule when making design changes. For example, in medium-temperature, stand-alone cases greater than 2,200 BTU/hr, the EPA is delisting the use of R-404A as of Jan. 1, 2020. Currently, the EPA has yet to add an A1 substitute to the list of acceptable alternatives that closely matches the performance characteristics of R-404A in these particular stand-alone applications. OEMs may have to approach the design cycle with natural or other alternative refrigerants in mind.

With regard to OEM preparedness to meet these new efficiency targets, the Webinar presented results of a recent survey conducted by Emerson. While more than half of the companies surveyed have plans in place to meet compliance dates, the majority of these reported to be only somewhat prepared. A live polling question posed in the Webinar was consistent with these results, as 34 percent of attendees admitted they had not yet started to engage with their channel constituents about preparing for these changes.

With the first of these compliance dates less than six months away, Ani and Brian stressed that the time for action is now. To learn the impacts that these regulations will have on equipment design and which options deliver the greatest efficiency improvements, please watch this important Webinar in its entirety.


New E360 Webinar Explains How to Meet 2017/2020 Energy Regulations

In the last several years, our industry has seen the introduction of numerous energy efficiency and environmental regulations. While many stakeholders had hoped these new standards would not be enforced, the compliance dates for these rulings are rapidly approaching. Among the first of these is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) rule on energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. The rule, which took effect on May 27, 2014, has a compliance date of May 27, 2017.

Despite industry objections via a formal petition submitted to federal court, this minimum efficiency ruling on stand-alone, self-contained equipment will be upheld. And with subsequent deadlines on ice machines and walk-in units planned for 2018 and 2020, stakeholders throughout the industry are evaluating the impacts to their businesses.

But the DOE is only one factor in this regulatory equation. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rulings and proposals regarding acceptable refrigerants will also be taking place during the same time frame. Keeping track of these rulings, understanding how they interact, and making sense of their far-reaching implications is no small task.


Our next E360 Webinar will tackle this challenge head on, focusing both on the near-term compliance deadline of March 2017 and what to expect over the next several years. The Webinar will be presented by Brian Buynacek, senior refrigeration engineer and marketing consultant, and Ani Jayanth, foodservice marketing manager, on Tuesday, Oct. 25 from 2–3 p.m. EDT.

In the Webinar, Buynacek and Jayanth will lay out a regulatory road map and present compliance strategies. Between now and 2020, there are nine legislated requirements that the refrigeration industry will need to deal with. Five of these come from the EPA, with the remainder falling under the DOE’s jurisdiction. The Webinar will address the implications of these compliance dates, starting with a focus on the first major hurdle — the 2017 DOE energy standard for stand-alone equipment, such as reach-in refrigeration units typically used in restaurants and convenience stores.

The Webinar will take a look at data that speaks to the industry’s level of preparedness, including the number of end users and manufacturers who are either already actively pursuing measures to ensure compliance or making plans to meet these dates. As achieving regulatory compliance becomes a component in most retailers’ business plans, many are officially stating an environmental goal of moving to a new refrigerant with much lower global warming potential. In fact, we’ve estimated that 83 percent of the industry’s top 50 retailers are testing refrigerant alternatives via pilot programs in field sites.

As much as 62 percent of manufacturers are engaged in lab testing to prepare for DOE regulations, and more than half of end users and manufacturers have a plan in place to meet compliance dates. What this also means is that many are still seeking guidance on how to become better prepared, but many are unfortunately not ready to address these challenges.

Whether you use or manufacture reach-ins, walk-ins, ice machines or rack systems, achieving compliance will require different strategies for each refrigeration equipment class. The Webinar will detail what’s required for each class as well as explore the implications that changing system designs will have on manufacturers and end users.

Register now and be sure to save the date for this timely discussion.


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.



MAKING SENSE of the Technology Used to Meet Future DOE Energy Regulations


Whether you’re an OEM, wholesaler, contractor, design consultant or end user, you’ve probably become increasingly aware of the of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) new minimum energy efficiency regulations in the commercial refrigeration industry. Although the effective dates for the DOE’s rulings are not until 2017 and 2018, many OEMs have proactively been preparing to improve the efficiency of their refrigeration equipment.

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