October at-a-glance … energy

DOE recommends NOT revising commercial prerinse spray valves energy-efficient standards

Following a June 2020 Request for Information and review of comments submitted, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) tentatively decided not to modify the energy-efficiency standard for commercial prerinse spray valves. According to the Notice of Proposed Determination (NOPD), “Current standards do not need to be amended because any potential benefits are outweighed by the risk of increased energy and water usage due to the increased risk of product switching, costs and additional burden to manufacturers.” DOE also issued an email correction to the NOPD that describes the life-cycle cost and pay-back period methodology. The correction does not change the NOPD recommendation. Written comments on the tentative decision were due Oct. 18.

“This is a perfect example of the approach to energy-efficiency standards NAFEM has long advocated for,” said Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, vice president, regulatory and technical affairs. “New standards should be technologically feasible, economically justifiable and result in significant energy savings. We applaud DOE’s action.”

Electric and gas industries collaborate to support the transition to clean energy

Reaching global decarbonization goals is fostering collaboration across the energy industry. This includes the electric and gas industries, which have come together to guide the  Low-Carbon Resources Initiative (LCRI). Jointly led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI), this five-year effort, with $126+ million in funding from 48 sponsors, will accelerate deployment and demonstration of low-carbon technologies. Specifically, LCRI is focused on identifying:

 “Our role is to address the gaps in existing research to help the energy industry and its customers better understand where things might be going,” said Rick Ranhotra, senior technical leader, EPRI. “By anticipating scenarios that have the highest likelihood, we can help minimize risk and reduce surprises so we’re all better prepared for a low-carbon future.”

“Eliminating combustion technology and replacing it with electricity certainly reduces carbon,” said Frank Johnson, R&D manager, GTI. “But the other issue is how the electricity is generated. GTI and EPRI recognize that all electrification probably isn’t the answer; neither is eliminating all fossil fuels. Our aim is to work with the best of what we have now and look to improve for the future.”

LCRI is researching potential uses of hydrogen, ammonia, synthetic or derivative fuels and biofuels. For example, in the future, we may see a blend of natural gas and hydrogen, according to Ranhotra. He added that, in developing future-forward solutions, we must consider the possibility of a federal carbon tax in the U.S. and how that also could affect overall cost considerations.

“LCRI seeks, where appropriate, a strategy that leverages all existing assets to ensure least cost, reliable, resilient and sustainable energy for consumers,” said Ranhotra.

“Foodservice operators have, largely, been more reluctant to adopt advanced technology than other industries,” said Johnson, “Yet equipment manufacturers are more ready to introduce carbon-efficient equipment than many other industries. It makes sense to concentrate these innovations on higher-use equipment where significant benefits can be realized until customer demand catches up with available innovations.”

LCRI will soon release a report on low-carbon opportunities in the business segments it studied. Among the business segments are buildings ‒ including foodservice equipment ‒ industry and transportation. NAFEM will provide this information to members when it is available.

For more information on LCRI and the future of clean energy as it impacts commercial foodservice equipment, Johnson and Ranhotra are available to speak with NAFEM members. Those interested also can sign-up for regular email updates from LCRI, follow the Initiative on Twitter and read its FAQ.

DOE publishes a final rule pertaining to test procedures for refrigeration products

The DOE has published a Federal Register notice Final Rule pertaining to test procedures for Refrigeration Products. The effective date of this rule is November 12. The final rule changes will be mandatory for product testing starting April 11, 2022.

DOE’s better plants industry partners save $9.3 billion in energy costs

The DOE has released the Fall 2021 Better Buildings, Better Plants progress update. The report highlights more than 250 manufacturers and water utilities that have introduced energy efficiency and decarbonization measures, cumulatively saving more than $9 billion in energy costs and 1.9 quadrillion British thermal units (Btus) – more energy than the state of Wisconsin consumes in a year.

ENERGY STAR® updates

True’s Hon reappointed to ASRAC

Charlie Hon, manager, sustainability and government affairs, True Manufacturing, O’Fallon. Mo., has been appointed to another three-year term on the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee (ASRAC). “The 12 ASRAC appointees serve as an advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy,” said Hon. “We use our significant experience to help negotiate energy efficiency rules. The Committee process is important because it supports far more in-depth conversations and analysis than the comment process alone.”