April ’23 at-a-glance … energy

DOE issues NOPR for misc. refrigeration products

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) pertaining to energy-efficiency standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products. NAFEM believes the NOPR applies to a subset of members. If this applies to your business and you are interested in participating in comments from NAFEM on behalf of the industry, contact Charlie Souhrada, CFSP, Vice President, Regulatory & Technical Affairs. DOE held a webinar to discuss the NOPR April 11 with a detailed PowerPoint presentation. The agency also is hosting a webinar to discuss the NOPR May 2 from 1 – 4 p.m. ET. Details are in the Federal Register notice linked above. Comments are due May 30.

DOE issues final rule amending test procedures for WIC/WIF

The DOE issued a pre-publication Federal Register final rule amending the test procedures for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers to harmonize with updated industry standards, revise certain definitions, revise the test methods to more accurately represent field energy use, and to accommodate a wider range of walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer (WIC/WIF) component equipment designs. The rule is effective 30 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. 

During the rulemaking process, NAFEM supported comments by the Air-conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) regarding multiple technical issues with the test procedures, some of which DOE agreed with and some of which they did not. Affected members should review these carefully and let Charlie Souhrada, CSFP, NAFEM Vice President, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, know if there are any test procedures that cause real compliance concerns. NAFEM’s comments continued to raise issues regarding adherence to sound regulatory process, including accounting for impacts on small business and cumulative regulatory burdens. DOE stated these issues will be addressed in the standards rulemaking. The latest Unified Regulatory Agenda lists the proposed standards for WIC/WIF as potentially being issued in August this year.

DOE provides funds to revise building codes to drive decarbonization

$1 billion is available to state and local governments for improved building codes that reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency through the DOE’s Office of State and Community Energy Programs (SCEP). DOE’s aim is to improve new construction and retrofits while transitioning new and existing building stock to more efficient, decarbonized buildings. The new codes will put continued pressure on the industry and manufacturers to address increased energy efficiency. NAFEM’s Technical Liaison Committee (TLC) task groups – especially the Commercial Kitchen Ventilation, Refrigeration, and Sanitation and Environment groups – have been working hard to keep pace with evolving codes and standards.

Congratulations to members receiving ENERGY STAR Awards

Thirteen NAFEM members have received the ENERGY STAR® program’s highest honor. ENERGY STAR Awards were given to the following companies for their year-over-year commitment to energy efficiency: Beverage Air; Electrolux; Emerson; Hoshizaki America; ITW FEG; Pentair, True; Welbilt – Cleveland, Convotherm, Delfield, Frymaster, Garland.