Energy Efficiency Changes 2020

While we welcome the new year and all the challenges that come with it, the commercial refrigeration industry will see some energy efficiency changes. The Department of Energy (DOE) has implemented changes on new energy use standards that have become law across the country in 2020. We will also look at additional requirements that will not happen until July 2020. These changes are challenging as they will likely cause an increase in the cost of refrigeration equipment affected by the regulations.

What is the DOE’s goal and what is it based on?

The DOE regulations are designed to improve efficiency in moving heat from one space to another, while also reducing the amount of heat infiltration into the conditioned space. The new standards are based on AWEF (Annual Walk-in Energy Factor). AWEF is a measure of the annual efficiency of a refrigeration system and includes the impact of seasonal temperature changes as well as different Walk-in Cooler & Freezer (WICF) box loads. These changes will lead to increased product costs

What dates are important?

The first compliance date for AWEF is January 1, 2020, for medium temperature condensing units and self-contained units. Medium temperature condensing units manufactured after January 1, 2020, must meet minimum AWEF values.

The second compliance date is July 10, 2020 for low temperature condensing units, low temperature self-contained units, and both medium and low temperature unit coolers, must meet minimum AWEF values.

What equipment must meet AWEF standards? The applications and equipment affected by new DOE mandated AWEF efficiency ratings include both new equipment installations and equipment replacements and are as follows:

  • Walk-in coolers/freezers up to 3000 sq. ft.
  • Condensing units and unit coolers used in walk-in coolers and freezers up to 3000 sq. ft.
  • Unit coolers used in supermarket refrigeration systems with dedicated walk-in coolers and freezers under 3,000 sq. ft.
  • Air-cooled condensing units, unit coolers and package systems used with walk-in coolers and freezers and unit coolers used in supermarket walk-in cooler and freezers.
  • Doors and panels used to construct walk-in coolers and freezers.

Equipment manufactured prior to compliance date can be sold, installed and operated after compliance date. Compliance is based on date of manufacture of the individual equipment. Although you may have applications that do not fall within the parameters of the new regulations, considering installing AWEF compliant equipment as it could save energy and money in the long run. Also consider that many manufacturers may cease producing or selling non-compliant equipment which may make non-compliant equipment difficult to purchase after stock depletes. This means if you’re on the fence about new equipment, even if you’re not affected by the ruling you may want to consider making a decision soon.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new regulations call Carlson and Stewart Refrigeration. We can also help with all your design, installation and maintenance of any system!

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