September ’23 at-a-glance … energy

DOE publishes final CRE test procedure rule

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published a Federal Register notice amending the test procedures for commercial refrigerators, refrigerator-freezers, and freezers (CRE). The effective date is October 26. The amendments will be mandatory for equipment testing starting September 20, 2024.

DOE WIC/F NOPR published; NAFEM/AHRI request comment extension

DOE posted in the Federal Register its nearly 400-page notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to amend energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers. In response, NAFEM and AHRI quickly requested a 30-day comment period extension which was denied September 25. That same day, DOE issued a pre-publication Federal Register notification which summarizes and addresses comments that were considered but not discussed in the NOPR. Comments, which NAFEM has begun preparing on behalf of the industry, are currently due Nov. 6. Members with input are encouraged to contact

DOE issues ACIM NODA – comments due October 25

On September 25, DOE published a Federal Register notification of data availability (NODA), updating its analysis for automatic commercial ice makers (ACIM) based on information DOE received in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) the department issued May 11. Comments, data, and information regarding this NODA are due October 25. Contact for information.

DOE looks to revise product labeling, etc. to align with energy conservation standards

DOE issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) to amend certification provisions, labeling requirements and enforcement provisions for a variety of commercial equipment and consumer products to align with current energy conservation standards. The NOPR includes automatic commercial ice makers, commercial refrigeration equipment and walk-in coolers/freezers. The agency will hold a webinar Oct. 17 from 1 – 4 p.m. Eastern. Comments will be due 60 days after the NOPR appears in the Federal Register.

ENERGY STAR expands to include commercial electric cooktops

ENERGY STAR® released Final Version 1.0 of its Commercial Electric Cooktops Specification Aug. 31, which allows manufacturers to begin certifying products in this new category. Over the years, NAFEM and its members have played key roles in encouraging the ENERGY STAR program to expand to new categories, like commercial electric cooktops. In its announcement, ENERGY STAR thanked “the many stakeholders who invested time and resources in contributing to this specification development process.”

Learn more about the State Appliance Standards Database

With more states registering with the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP) State Appliance Standards Database (SASD) to confirm that their products distributed and sold meet state energy- and water-efficiency standards, Advocacy Update spoke with Andrea Krim, manager of codes & standards at NEEP, who maintains the database, to learn more.

NEEP, a non-profit regional energy efficiency organization funded in part by DOE, is tasked with driving electrification in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region from Maine to West Virginia. NEEP created the SASD to help states track product compliance for energy- and water- efficiency standards. The database currently tracks compliance for commercial dishwashers, fryers, hot food holding cabinets, ovens and 14 other product categories not related to the industry. Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island require manufacturers to register their products for sale with SASD. According to Krim, more states are interested in signing on.

“As states look to meet their emission reduction goals, increasing the energy efficiency of appliances is one of the best tools we have,” Krim said.

California also requires manufacturers to certify the performance of some products sold in the state via its Modernized Appliance Efficiency Database System (MAEDbS). Information is not shared between MAEDbS and SASD, so manufacturers must register with both databases to sell products in the covered states.

“We are looking to be a resource for more states and to help drive consistent standards,” Krim said. “In doing so, we welcome the opportunity to partner with all stakeholders, including product manufacturers.”

California cities ease pressure on natural gas hookups in new construction

The recent Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that overturned the building electrification ordinance in Berkeley, Calif., has caused Sacramento, San Luis Obispo, Santa Cruz and other cities to pause their plans as well. Sacramento leaders say they can’t enforce the ban on new natural gas hookups until the City of Berkeley’s appeal of the decision plays out. Ordinances banning new natural gas hookups have been passed by more than 100 U.S. cities, 76 of them in California cities.