December ’23 at-a-glance … energy

NAFEM continues advocacy push against proposed CRE energy-efficiency standards 

In 47-pages of comments to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) about proposed energy-efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE), NAFEM strongly urged the agency to issue a “no-new-standard” standard. NAFEM’s request was informed by the input of many members who indicated that DOE’s approach is not technically feasible or economically justified. NAFEM contends that the proposed standards fail the agency’s statutory factors under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA).  

Comments mirrored those provided at recent meetings 

At a November public meeting hosted by DOE, NAFEM also strongly recommended that the agency not issue new CRE energy-efficiency standards and instead require compliance with the current standards issued just six years ago. NAFEM commented that the proposed rule cannot be practically achieved, and that DOE drastically underestimated the costs and overestimated the energy-efficiency benefits of the proposed rule. 

NAFEM, the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) previously met with DOE and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in August to discuss the proposed standards and urged a no new standard ruling at that time as well.  

House committee expressed similar concerns 

Additionally, Jeff Bauman, manager of regulatory affairs at NAFEM-member Continental Refrigerator, Bensalem, Pennsylvania, spoke to the U.S. House Committee on Small Business that is questioning DOE’s approach and examining the effects of DOE regulations on America’s job creators. In his comments, Bauman said,” Analysis of DOE’s proposed standard levels shows extremely excessive reductions that are up to 60% lower than currently allowed. We are unable to identify any potential paths to these types of extraordinary cuts. Technology options that DOE indicates would reduce energy consumption in the near future are already in use. Other proposed technologies have so far proven to be impractical.” 

According to Committee Chair Roger William (R-Texas), “The president’s energy-efficiency regulations are forcing Main Street to change their operations to foot the bill for the Green New Deal. This Committee will continue its fight against burdensome regulations and strive to make life easier and more affordable for our job creators.” 

Grassroots advocacy campaign launching next 

NAFEM will next begin grassroots efforts to elevate the flaws with DOE’s proposed approach to CRE energy efficiency standards to elected and appointed officials. Members will play a key role in this outreach to build support for the position taken in our comments in asking DOE for a “no-new-standard” standard at this time so watch for more information soon. 

ENERGY STAR® to expand component inspection program 

In an exciting development for the industry, ENERGY STAR® has announced plans to further its successful component inspection program that streamlines energy-efficiency verification testing by combining it with quarterly product-safety factory auditing. Commercial electric cooktops, fryers, griddles and hot food holding cabinets will be added to the program that already includes steam cookers and dishwashers, as well as convection, combi and gas rack ovens. ENERGY STAR® partners have until Jan. 15, 2024 to notify certification bodies of their intent to participate in the component inspection program. NAFEM members can contact or Brian Krausz ( or 202-564-3069) with questions of check here for more information.  

California considering energy-efficiency standards for commercial foodservice equipment 

The California Energy Commission (CEC) issued a request for information and invitation to submit proposals toward its planned natural gas and electricity energy-efficiency rulemaking for commercial steam cookers, convection ovens, dishwashers and fryers. According to CEC, the goal of the rulemaking is to reduce energy consumption and, if applicable, water consumption in the state. Information and proposals are due Feb. 13, 2024. As other states follow California’s lead in setting energy-efficiency standards, it is important that the CEC hears from members across the country. NAFEM and the Foodservice Technology Center (FSTC) will host a meeting to discuss this subject Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, from 1 – 2 p.m. Central. Register here.  

California discontinues rebates for gas combi and single-rack overs in new construction 

The California Energy Wise Foodservice Instant Rebates Program will no longer offer rebates for gas combi and single-rack ovens in new construction, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Rebates continue to be offered for retrofit projects. The change is driven by a California Public Utilities Commission ruling that reduces ratepayer-funded incentives for gas energy-efficiency.