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New Refrigeration Rules Set to Take Effect in March 2017

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 DOE requirements entail a 30 percent to 50 percent energy-level reduction for reach-in refrigerators, a 5 percent reduction for ice makers, and a 20 percent to 40 percent reduction for walk-ins.

At the same time the DOE’s new standards for reach-ins take effect, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been phasing out CFC-based refrigerants. The EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program aims to phase out certain refrigerants with high global warming potential in exchange for more natural alternatives or blends with lower global warming potential. Some refrigerants are on a 2019 deadline for phaseout, while others have until 2020.

FE&S will explore these issues in  depth in its September 2016 issue. In addition, here are a couple of other stories written by FE&S editors exploring the impact of the DOE’s and EPA’s new specifications: