Department of Energy: New Energy Minimums

Beginning March of 2017, the DOE imposed a 30-50 percent reduction in energy consumption on reach-in, stand-alone commercial refrigeration equipment, as measured in kWh per day. This is the first of many significant energy regulations to impact the commercial refrigeration market in the coming years, including: new efficiency targets on automatic ice makers, walk-in coolers and freezers.

DOE Regulations Timing

Product CategoryStand-alone, Reach-ins
Walk-in coolers and freezers (WICF)
Automatic commercial ice makers
Energy Reduction Requirement
20% to 50% (depending on class)
20% to 50% (depending on class)
5% to 25%
Effective Date
March 2017
January 2020
January 2018
CRE measure in kWh/24-hour day

WICF measured in three major components.

AWEF measured using AHRI-1250 testing standards
ACIM measured in kWh/100lbs ice


Environmental Protection Agency: HFC Phase Out

The EPA has changed the listing of many common refrigerants to “unacceptable for use” in many commercial refrigeration applications. Among these “delisted” refrigerants include R-404A, R-507A, R-410A, R-407A/C/F and HFC-134a. The EPA continues to propose additional “change of status” notices through as addendums to the original 2015 ruling. These result in both the introduction of acceptable new refrigerant substitutes and the delisting or phasing down of the high-GWP substances.

C010-Regulations-Design Considerations

One Design Cycle or Two?

The timing of the DOE and EPA regulations poses further challenges to OEMs who must decide to approach each ruling separately or combine compliance of both regulations into a single design cycle. Keep in mind that the entire compliance and certification process goes well beyond the design phase. OEMs will need to thoroughly test their units for requisite UL and NFC certifications and make the necessary design adjustments to achieve DOE compliance.


Please enable JavaScript to use this website.