September at-a-glance … energy

NAFEM advocates for time to evaluate effectiveness of current process rule before revising

NAFEM responded to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) to potentially further amend the 2020 Process Rule. In its comments, NAFEM again encouraged the agency to allow time for the 2020 Process Rule to be fully implemented before considering revisions. “NAFEM is strongly disappointed that the DOE is undertaking these Process Rule NOPRs at this time and seeking to undo the years of work DOE and regulated entities had undertaken to develop a process that increases predictability and overall efficiency for energy-efficiency standards.” NAFEM advocated for a predictable approach when it submitted comments in May in response to DOE’s first NOPR on the 2020 Process Rule.

DOE’s review of the 2020 Process Rule is driven by the Jan. 20 Executive Order that instructs agencies to review recent regulations that may be inconsistent with policies related to greenhouse gas emissions reductions and improving U.S. resilience to climate change.

NAFEM requests reasonable and predictable DOE interim waiver process

Just as it is reevaluating the 2020 Final Process Rule (see story above), DOE also proposes amending the December Final Rule on the Test Procedure Interim Waiver Process. Instead of interim waivers being automatically granted if the agency fails to notify the petitioner of its decision within 45 business days, DOE proposes making its “best efforts” to process any interim waiver request within 90 days. Other changes also are included in the NOPR.

In its comments, NAFEM said, “The DOE waiver process should not be a backstop for poor standards and is currently overburdened. An open-ended review process does not work, deadlines need to be reasonable, there must be some known predictability to the process, and companies must be able to count on deadlines for final decisions.”

NAFEM encourages DOE to halt development of new CRE energy-efficiency standards

In comments addressing DOE’s Request for Information (RFI) to evaluate potentially amending energy-conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE), NAFEM stated, “There simply has not been sufficient time to develop, test and make available the types of new technologies that would significantly impact the most recent energy-efficiency standards.” NAFEM provided similar feedback to the agency in August when it sought input on potentially changing energy-efficiency standards for walk-in coolers/walk-in freezers. In its most-recent comments, NAFEM requested that DOE:

  • Delay initiating new CRE energy-efficiency standards until appropriate new technologies are proven and readily available to the industry.
  • Finalize revisions to the Process Rule (see story above) and the Test Procedure Interim Waiver Process.

Coordinate with EPA on these potentially competing regulatory requirements.

Massachusetts considers new appliance energy-efficiency standards

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources is in the process of developing new energy- and water-efficiency standards for numerous products, including commercial hot-food holding cabinets and commercial ovens, dishwashers, fryers and steam cookers. Once finalized, manufacturers can only ship products to Massachusetts that meet these minimum standards starting in 2022. The Regulation also prohibits retailers from selling products that fail to meet the standards starting in 2023. Comments were due Sept. 29.

ENERGY STAR® updates

  • ENERGY STAR Award applications are due Dec. 7. The awards recognize businesses and organizations for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy-efficiency achievements in 2021.
  • The ENERGY STAR program posted the 2020 Unit Shipment Data Summary Report to the ENERGY STAR Unit Shipment Data webpage. The report includes aggregate shipments provided by ENERGY STAR brand-owner partners and estimated market share for ENERGY STAR products included in the data collection effort. Despite fluctuations in the market resulting from the COVID pandemic, ENERGY STAR shipments remained strong in 2020.
  • ENERGY STAR’s Version 3.0 Commercial Ovens Draft 2 specification is expected in October. For more information, visit the product development webpage.
  • ENERGY STAR is interested in scoping the following product categories: demand control kitchen ventilation, pressure fryers, tilt skillets, rotisserie ovens and hand dryers. To learn more, contact