DOE requests input on energy conservation standards

The DOE has requested information around the U.S. Appliance and Equipment Energy Conservation Standards. Comments are due March 26. DOE is looking at changes, or “flexibilities,” to the program that could include market-based approaches, “feebate” programs, or other ways to reduce compliance costs and/or increase consumer choices. NAFEM maintains that market-based programs, like the auto industry’s café standards that specify average fuel efficiencies across a manufacturers’ portfolio, will be a challenge to implement in the foodservice industry because operator needs and specifications are so diverse. Additionally, 60 percent of NAFEM member companies are small businesses with annual revenues of $5 – $10 million. Many may not offer sufficient product classes to meet production-weighted averages. Instead, NAFEM will recommend DOE look to the successful ENERGY STAR program and build on this foundation to improve energy conservation standards.