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Energy Star Specifications for Commercial Fridges and Freezers Revised

The Environmental Protection Agency recently revised its Energy Star specifications for commercial refrigerators and freezers in an effort to provide more significant savings to end users and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA issued its first specification for commercial fridges and freezers over 15 years ago and while several updates have been adopted since then, recent technological developments - such as high-efficiency compressors, climate-friendly refrigerants and innovative designs - persuaded the agency to establish more stringent Energy Star performance requirements for these products.

According to an EPA press release, the updated requirements highlight the most energy-efficient products in a variety of configurations and sizes that meet the needs of various users. Commercial fridges and freezers are designed and tested with commercial operations in mind, with products subject to frequent door openings while also maintaining food at specific temperatures in hot kitchen environments. Products that meet the new specification will offer users energy savings ranging from 17 to 40 percent and about US$40 to US$100 per year, depending on configuration, when compared to conventional models. If all commercial fridges and freezers sold in the United States were Energy Star certified, the energy cost savings would grow to nearly US$235 million each year and more than five billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions from over 480,000 vehicles.

The EPA has established the following timeline to allow for a smooth transition to the new Energy Star specification.

  • Effective immediately, manufacturers may elect to have their certification body certify their eligible products to the Version 4.0 eligibility criteria.
  • On 15 February 2017, certification bodies will be instructed to stop certifying new product submittals to Version 3.0. Existing certifications will remain valid for purposes of Energy Star qualification until 27 March 2017.
  • As of 27 March 2017, any product manufactured and labelled as Energy Star must meet Version 4.0 requirements. All certifications of products to the Version 3.0 specification will be invalid for purposes of Energy Star qualification and certification bodies will only submit product models certified to version 4.0.

Energy Star is a voluntary labelling programme designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Energy Star label is now available on more than 40 different kinds of products, including home electronics, clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, room air conditioners, commercial fryers, commercial hot food holding cabinets, commercial solid door refrigerators and freezers, commercial steam cookers, computers and other office equipment, and lighting.

Energy Star partnership as a manufacturer is limited to organisations that own and/or licence a brand name under which they sell eligible products in the United States and/or Canada. Partnership is not available to original equipment manufacturers that do not sell directly to end users. While OEMs may certify products on behalf of the Energy Star brand owners/licencees, the brand owner must be the Energy Star partner associated directly with the certified product models since only partners are authorised to use the Energy Star certification mark.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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