As 2019 winds down, the U.S. commercial refrigeration industry and end users are facing some major regulatory changes on January 1, 2020.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will enforce the long-awaited prohibition, originally announced in 2010, on the production and import of HCFCs, notably R22. That leaves only reclaimed R22 and R22 made before 2020 available for use in existing systems.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will enforce up to 40% energy reductions for walk-in cooler/freezer equipment used in commercial refrigeration – specifically, medium-temperature condensing units and medium-temperature self-contained units – manufactured on, or after, January 1, 2020. The new standard was issued on July 10, 2017.
On July 10, 2020, the efficiency standard will go into effect for the following walk-in cooler/freezer equipment: low-temperature condensing units, low-temperature self-contained units, and medium- and low-temperature unit coolers (evaporators).
To assist in the transition to the new DOE standard, Heatcraft Refrigeration Products, Stone Mountain, Georgia, a subsidiary of Lennox International, has set up an informational website.
According to the website, the new DOE regulations call for the following:
- Energy-efficiency requirements for walk-in coolers and freezers 3,000ft2 and below.
- Compliance for both new equipment installations and equipment replacement.
- 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.
- All parties are responsible for compliance.
- Equipment size may have increased and equipment functionality may have changed. If replacing existing equipment, end users should confirm mounting/clearance requirements and any operational adjustments needed.
In a video, the website notes that the new DOE rule does not apply to: water-cooled condensing units; air-cooled condensers; remote condensers; cooler/freezers in medical, scientific and research installations; and multi-compressor condensing units or racks.
The U.S. Department of Energy will enforce up to 40% energy reductions for walk-in cooler/freezer equipment used in commercial refrigeration – specifically, medium-temperature condensing units and medium-temperature self-contained units – manufactured on, or after, January 1, 2020.