Final DOE enforcement dates are fast approaching for walk-in coolers and freezers (WICF), and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), wholesalers, contractors, and end-users are looking at the dates with urgency to ensure they are in compliance and understand the new regulatory standards.
The Department of Energy hasn't issued a major regulatory standards deadline to the commercial refrigeration industry in over two years; however, two major deadlines are approaching for WICFs in the next 10 months.
January 1, 2020 - All newly manufactured medium temperature condensing units and medium temperature self-contained units must meet minimum AWEF values to be considered compliant for WICF applications below 3,000 square feet by the DOE.
July 10, 2020 - All newly manufactured low temperature condensing units, low temperature self-contained units, and both medium and low temperature unit coolers must meet minimum AWEF values to be considered compliant for WICF applications below 3,000 square feet by the DOE.
The DOE regulations state that equipment manufactured prior to compliance dates is still acceptable for new installations and replacements.
For OEMs, selling new condensing units and unit coolers for WICF applications in 2020 may require that you finalize engineering design cycle, testing, and certification now, before year's end.
If you are a wholesaler, you should be ready to stock only condensing units and unit coolers that are AWEF-compliant if those units are manufactured following the DOE's 2020 enforcement deadlines for WICF applications. You may continue to stock legacy units, but be inventory aware.
Contractors may still use legacy condensing units and unit coolers, but it's important to keep in mind that those manufactured after DOE deadlines must be AWEF-compliant if used for new installation and replacement purposes.
January 1, 2020, is just over three months away, and manufacturers of medium temperature condensing units must be in compliance with the DOE's minimum AWEF standards as of this date. Stay tuned for further reminders of important compliance dates as we near the end of 2019.