January ’24 at-a-glance … energy

CRE comments filed; additional advocacy efforts underway 

Now that NAFEM has filed comments on behalf of members with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) about proposed energy-efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE), we’re gearing up to further advocate for the “no-new-standard” standard requested in the comments. 

Next on the agenda is for NAFEM to schedule a meeting with the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy. Given that there are many small businesses among NAFEM members, SBA Advocacy has been helpful to us in the past. NAFEM also will work to meet with the White House Office of Management and Budget, which must review any proposed regulations before they become law. The Advocacy team also is developing a grassroots campaign to help members reach out to elected officials.  

NAFEM’s request for a “no-new-standard” standard 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). If approved as currently drafted, the proposed standards would take effect Jan. 1, 2029. 

California engages industry in standard setting 

In a departure from other states, California issued a pre-rulemaking request for information and invitation to submit proposals as it considers introducing energy-efficiency standards for gas- and electric-powered commercial steam cookers, convection ovens, dishwashers and fryers. “California has taken a different approach and invited the industry to provide data and perspective on future standards, versus seeking comments on already drafted standards,” said David Zabrowski, CFSP, Frontier Energy, Inc., Sam Ramon, California. “Although the state will in all likelihood institute some type of standards, this is a real opportunity to engage with the California Energy Commission, whose work is often emulated by other states, in regulations affecting the industry.” NAFEM will submit comments by the Feb. 13 deadline and encourages members to do so as well. 

Maryland proposes efficiency standards 

The Maryland Energy Administration provided additional details on pending energy-efficiency standards for a variety of commercial refrigeration equipment, dishwashers and steam cookers sold in the state. Refrigeration equipment would need to meet certain daily maximum energy consumption requirements. Dishwashers would need to meet ENERGY STAR® Version 2.0 requirements and steam cookers ENERGY STAR Version 1.2 requirements. Comments are due Jan. 29. 

ENERGY STAR® expands component inspection program 

ENERGY STAR is proceeding with its new component inspection program that begins in 2024 for commercial coffee brewers, fryers, griddles, hot food holding cabinets. The program expands to electric cooktops in 2025. Check here for more information on the program.