New Refrigeration Rules Take Effect This Month

The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit issued against a petition brought forth by the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers and other organizations to review the test procedure and efficiency standards published in 2014. As a result, manufacturers of reach-in refrigerators and freezers must comply with new energy efficiency standards as set forth by the U.S. Department of Energy by March 27, 2017. New regulations for walk-in refrigerators will take effect in January 2020.

The new standards from the DOE require 30-50 percent energy level reduction for reach-in’s, 5 percent reduction for ice makers, and a 20-40 percent reduction for walk-ins.

While the standards are taking effect for reach-ins, the US Environmental Protection Agency has been slowly phasing out CFC-based refrigerants alongside it’s SNAP program. The SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) program’s goal is to phase out refrigerants that have a high potential for global warming and replace them with natural alternatives or blends that have a lower global warming potential by 2019.

What this means for us:

The decision means manufacturers of commercial refrigeration products, like ourselves must be ready to comply with these new regulations by the end of this month. The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) reports that at every step, the court deferred to the agency.

“Arguing against an agency is always an uphill battle, but the amount of deference the court exhibits in the opinion is much greater than what we have seen in other cases,” says Jeff Longsworth, NAFEM Legal Counsel. According to Longsworth, the court seemed reluctant to grasp the technical integrity issues raised by NAFEM and the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), which collaborated on the filing.

“We knew this was a risk, but we had faith that the court would do their job – especially given the excellent help from members in breaking the information into bite-sized pieces for an average person to understand. It’s disheartening that the court did not look beyond the DOE’s words and into the substance and technical impact of the case.”

What this means for our customers:

Excellence Industries has always aimed to be a “green” company through it’s innovation, service, refurbishing, and recycling. These new standards will allow us to work with our customers and allow them to do the same while having a positive impact on the environment and create energy savings for them. If you’re ready to upgrade now, the good news is that you don’t have to wait. We’ve been preparing for this transition and gradually introducing new DOE compliant units into our lineup since the end of last year. We are also diligently working to bring all of our models to compliance so that you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite unit. Our new line of commercial refrigeration units will:

  • Be energy efficient
  • Feature adjustable thermostats
  • Use environmentally friendly hydrocarbon based refrigerants such as R290 or R600.
  • Utilize additional features that improve the insulation ability of your unit

If you’re ready to upgrade call us now at 800.441.4014 or visit our website contact form and a team member will be with you as soon as possible.