July ’22 at-a-glance … energy

DOE shares preliminary analysis for CRE amended standards, seeks feedback

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of its preliminary analysis for amended energy-conservation standards for

commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE). The agency will hold a webinar to discuss the data August 8, 1 – 4 p.m. ET. Registration details are in the above Federal Register notice. Comments are due Aug. 29.

DOE to evaluate updates to WIC/F energy-efficiency standards

The DOE issued a Federal Register notice to collect data to evaluate the need to amend the current energy-efficiency standards for walk-in coolers and freezers (WIC/F). Under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), new or amended energy conservation standards must be technologically feasible and economically justified.

“In our comments to the agency, NAFEM will once again stress the need for DOE to move in lockstep with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” said Tammy Helminski, NAFEM legal counsel, Barnes & Thornburg. “They also need a solid, realistic view of the cost implications and availability of materials to meet any new specifications.”

The agency held a webinar July 22 to discuss the WIC/F request. Comments are due Aug. 29.

NAFEM request denied for delay in ENERGY STAR Ovens 3.0 implementation date

ENERGY STAR denied NAFEM’s request for a six-month delay in the ENERGY STAR® Commercial Oven Specification 3.0 implementation deadline to account for supply chain delays and essential testing/validating of critical new components and technology needed to meet the new specification. “NAFEM members are strong supporters of the ENERGY STAR program and actively participated in the stakeholder process to update the Commercial Oven Specification. Members continue to struggle to fulfill existing order backlogs while trying to meet the implementation date for Ovens 3.0,” said Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, vice president, regulatory & technical affairs.

NY, Nevada advance energy-efficiency standards

  • New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed NY S 9405 that establishes testing procedures and energy efficiency standards for equipment not covered at the federal level to help advance the state’s clean energy and climate agenda. The bill covers commercial dishwashers, fryers, ovens, steam cookers, holding cabinets, commercial pre-rinse spray valves, refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezers.
  • Nevada is considering NAC 701 that stipulates appliances including commercial dishwashers, fryers, hot food holding cabinets, ovens and steam cookers available in the state meet ENERGY STAR® specifications. If passed, regulations would go into effect July 1, 2023, and manufacturers would be required to submit proof of certification to the state Department of Energy. This activity is in response to Assembly Bill (AB) 383 that requires Nevada to adopt energy-efficiency standards for certain appliances sold, leased, rented or installed in the state.

Zero-emissions energy sector jobs grew most significantly in 2021

U.S. energy jobs grew 4% from 2020 to 2021, outpacing overall U.S. employment, which grew 2.8% in the same period according to the DOE’s annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report. Nearly all jobs in net-zero-emissions-aligned areas experienced job growth, while nuclear electricity, coal and petroleum jobs decreased. The electric and hybrid vehicle sectors had the greatest percentage increases at about 26% and 20%, respectively. Michigan, California and Texas had the highest energy job growth.

ASHRAE and DOE to continue collaboration

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing to further their long-term relationship. “With ASHRAE’s focus on building decarbonization and resilience, we are pleased to continue our partnership with the Department of Energy as we share our knowledge base in the built environment on a larger scale and work towards a more sustainable world.” said ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, LEED AP.

ASHRAE and DOE seek to continue working cooperatively on the following:

  • Advancing decarbonization in the building sector.
  • Increasing the grid-interactivity of buildings and promoting more resilient, efficient buildings.
  • Increasing compliance with the latest building energy codes.
  • Improving building resiliency and keeping occupants safe.
  • Developing the workforce of the HVACR and associated sectors.