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DOE Commercial Refrigeration Standards – Key Questions to Ask Yourself 

article Published on 2019-04-23
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The commercial refrigeration industry is preparing for a significant shift in regulatory standards as January 1, 2020, approaches. Contractors, wholesalers, OEMs, (original equipment manufacturers), and end-users are concerned about how the new Department of Energy (DOE) standards for commercial refrigeration will affect them. Industry blogs and online forums are echoing the sentiment, “What do I need to do and when do I need to do it?” When it comes down to how DOE impacts YOU, here are some key questions you should be asking.


What is my application and what equipment is affected?

Understanding what commercial refrigeration applications and equipment are included in the impending DOE regulations is central to knowing how you should prepare for 2020.


Commercial refrigeration applications and equipment affected by DOE 2020 standards
  • Walk-in coolers and freezers up to 3000 ft2
  • Medium temperature condensing units and package systems, (effective date Jan 1, 2020)
  • Low temp condensing units, package systems, and unit coolers used in coolers and freezers up to 3000 2 (effective date July 10, 2020)
  • Unit coolers used in supermarket refrigeration systems with dedicated walk-in coolers and freezers under 3,000 2 (effective date July 10, 2020)
  • Doors and panels used to construct walk-in coolers and freezers

Additionally, new and replacement refrigeration equipment associated with walk-in coolers and freezers will need to be compliant with new DOE efficiency standards. Unit cooler applications in supermarkets, whether walk-in or otherwise, will also be required to comply with the 2020 Department of Energy standards.

 

What equipment is exempt from 2020 DOE commercial refrigeration standards?

The exceptions for DOE regulatory compliance standards are:


  • Coolers and freezers larger than 3000 square feet
  • Water-cooled condensing units, air-cooled condensers, or remote condensers
  • Medical, scientific, and research installations
  • Multi-compressor condensing units or supermarket compressor racks

Installations of equipment manufactured prior to their respective DOE 2020 regulations effective dates, WILL NOT be required to meet new DOE standards. It is worth noting that purchasing DOE/AWEF compliant equipment is predicted to be more energy efficient and save money over the life of ownership.


What is the DOE 2020 Regulations Impact on Wholesalers, Contractors, OEMs & End-users?

How do the 2020 DOE standards affect wholesalers?

As an equipment wholesaler, it will be your responsibility to ensure that the correct equipment is selected and installed.


How do the 2020 DOE standards affect OEMs?

As an original equipment manufacturer specifying equipment, it will be your responsibility to ensure that only compliant equipment is used in applications which require compliance with the new AWEF standards.


How do the 2020 DOE standards affect contractors?

As a commercial refrigeration contractor installing and maintaining equipment, it will be your responsibility to ensure that installations are compliant with new DOE standards (excluding new installations of purchased equipment manufactured prior to their DOE 2020 regulations effective dates).


How do the 2020 DOE standards affect end-users?

As an end-user operating equipment, it will be your responsibility to verify that only compliant equipment is used in applications requiring AWEF compliance (equipment manufactured after Jan 1, 2020).

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