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.