Colorado bill to prohibit sale of non-ENERGY STAR® certified products proceeds

Colorado House Bill 19-1231 has passed the state’s House and Senate and awaits Governor Polis’ signature. If signed by the Governor, the bill will require that all commercial dishwashers, fryers, hot food-holding cabinets and steam cookers, along with a variety of other devises used in the state, must meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® and WaterSense requirements after Jan. 1, 2021.

According to Bill Sickles, manager, product safety and compliance engineering at InterMetro Industries Corporation, Wilkes-Barre, Pa., “It’s important for NAFEM members to understand that this bill will prohibit sales for NAFEM members who sell non-ENERGY STAR certified commercial foodservice equipment in Colorado. While NAFEM members have been very supportive of ENERGY STAR and its importance in conserving energy resources, we also recognize that many customers choose not to purchase ENERGY STAR-listed equipment. The incremental cost increase can be significant to some operators. Restaurants, schools, colleges, correctional facilities, and others all have budget constraints.”

NAFEM testified before the Colorado House Transportation and Energy Committee and expressed concerns with making the voluntary ENERGY STAR program a mandatory requirement of selling equipment in the state.

The Food Service Technology Center echoes NAFEM’s concerns.

“Colorado’s approach is noble, but also misguided,” said David Zabrowski, CFSP, vice president, Frontier Energy’s Food Service Technology Center. “ENERGY STAR is a successful, voluntary program intended to reward the top 25 percent of equipment that meets its exacting standards. Colorado is trying to mandate energy-efficient standards without understanding the range and complexity of commercial foodservice equipment standards.

“This must be a call to action for the industry,” David added. “Individual manufacturers and operators must become engaged to help craft regulations that will impact their businesses for the foreseeable future.”

NAFEM will continue to monitor the Colorado bill, along with other similar proposed legislation in Conn., Hawaii, Ill., Maine, R.I. and Wash.