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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.

 

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.

DOE_Compliance

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.


References:

  1. https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EERE-2010-BT-STD-0003-0104
  2. http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-US/About_Us/industry_stewardship/E360/Documents/Atlanta-Presentations/how-to-meet-wicher-jayanth-021516.pdf
  3. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/snap_regulatory_factsheet_july20_2015.pdf

Agenda for Next E360 Forum Is Finalized

E360 Forum - Anaheim

Fresh off the heels of the success of our first E360 Forum, we’re excited to announce that our next one will be held on February 18 at the Embassy Suites Anaheim — South in Anaheim, California. The free daylong event will take place one day prior to the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) show starting on February 19, and will give many NAFEM attendees an opportunity to contribute to these important E360 conversations.

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New ENERGY STAR Standards

Staying current with the latest changes in our industry’s regulations can be challenging. But if you’re a contractor, OEM or retailer, you not only need the most current information, it’s vital for you to do your job properly. That’s why we recently updated our white paper titled “Status of Energy Regulations for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment.” www.emersonclimate.com/en-us/Resources/Energy/Documents/2005ECT172.pdf  The recently updated white paper addresses a variety of topics, including:

  • ENERGY STAR standards v3.0 for ice machines — these went into effect Feb. 1, 2013. The new ENERGY STAR levels require a 7–10 percent energy improvement over previous specifications. New ENERGY STAR efficiency standards for reach-ins will go into effect April 2014. Version 3.0 will be based on the top 25 percent of energy performers.
  • Legislation H.R. 6582 — the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act is now a law. This law lessens the regulatory burden on deli-style display cases by making service-over-the-counter (SOTC) refrigerator units a separate product classification.
  • Required certifications for commercial foodservice equipment — the Department of Energy (DOE) requires refrigerated foodservice equipment manufacturers to submit annual reports to the DOE certifying compliance of their basic models with applicable standards. Individual models can be grouped as a “basic model” such that the certified rating for the basic model matches the represented rating for all the included models. The DOE may at any time test a basic model to assess whether it is in compliance with the applicable energy conservation standards.

In addition, the white paper updates maximum daily energy use calculations for reach-in coolers, energy usage as it pertains to the U.S. population, options for walk-in freezer doors, maximum daily energy use for ice machines, LEED v4 and California Title 24 for supermarkets.

Emerson also facilitates an energy rebate program for commercial refrigeration. This free service enables wholesalers and contractors to identify and process rebates for these products. More information about the rebate program is available at http://estore.rrd.com/Emerson/download.ashx?did=908.

I’d be interested in knowing how these new regulations and requirements are affecting you and your business. Please let us know by sharing a comment with us.

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

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