Maine revised proposed energy-efficiency standards with NAFEM input

The Maine legislature has amended draft LD 1750 to align with NAFEM’s recommendation to introduce commercial foodservice equipment energy-efficiency standards aligned with California Energy Commission (CEC) Title 20, versus mandating ENERGY STAR® compliance, as originally drafted. Jan Castagna, Pine Tree Food Equipment, Gray, Maine commented on behalf of the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA) at a public hearing that the bill, as originally written, “Could impact many operations that may not be able to afford to retrofit their kitchens to be in compliance. Simple low-cost repairs would be eliminated, impacting not only restaurants but small seasonal businesses, our summer camps, health care facilities and schools.”

Dennis Tinkham, parts manager, Pine Tree, delivered NAFEM’s comments, sharing that, “ENERGY STAR was established as a voluntary program to identify and promote the most energy-efficient products. This proposal eliminates the other 75 percent of the equipment on the market, which significantly reduces the products operators can choose from to meet their business needs. We believe the CEC approach is both logical and methodical.” NAFEM also pledged to work with Maine to develop a plan that does not discourage the pursuit of energy efficiency and indirectly harms the restaurant industry in Maine.

According to Greg Dugal, Hospitality Maine (see “Organizations to note” below), “With the help of NAFEM and our local foodservice equipment companies, we were able to have 90 percent of the references to commercial foodservice equipment removed from Maine’s proposed Appliance Energy and Water Efficiency bill in committee. It was a pleasure working with them.”

As a reminder, California and Washington have passed legislation requiring ENERGY STAR certification for commercial foodservice equipment. Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are considering similar legislation. NAFEM continues to advocate on behalf of its members on this important topic.