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Walk-In Coolers and Walk-In Freezers

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Walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers (walk-ins or WICFs) are enclosed storage spaces that can be walked into. WICFs temporarily store refrigerated or frozen food or other perishable goods and are used primarily in the food service and food sales industry. Walk-in coolers operate above 32°F and at or below 55°F, and walk-in freezers operate at or below 32°F. WICFs covered by the regulations have a total chilled storage area of less than 3,000 square feet, and do not include products designed and marketed exclusively for medical, scientific, or research purposes.

The standards with a compliance date of January 1, 2009 will save approximately 1.6 quads of energy and result in approximately $16 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2009-2033. The standard will avoid about 85.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 16.8 million automobiles.

The standards with a compliance date of June 5, 2017 will save approximately 3.1 quads of energy and result in approximately $37 billion in energy bill savings for products shipped from 2017-2046. The standards will avoid about 159 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of about 30 million automobiles.


Recent Updates | Standards | Test Procedures | Waiver, Exception, and Exemption Information | Statutory Authority | Historical Information | Contact Information


Recent Updates

DOE published a notice concerning DOE's response to a petition for reconsideration regarding walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. 79 FR 59090 (October 1, 2014)

DOE published a notice of public meeting concerning test procedures for the refrigeration systems in walk-in coolers and freezers. 79 FR 59153(October 1, 2014). A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 22, 2014 in at DOE's Forrestal Building, 1000 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20585, in room GH-019.  Please call Ms. Brenda Edwards for register (202) 586-2945. To participate via webinar please register here

DOE published a final rule regarding energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. 79 FR 32049 (June 3, 2014). For more information, please see the rulemaking webpage.

DOE published a final rule regarding alternative efficiency determination methods (AEDMs) and test procedures for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. 79 FR 27387 (May 13, 2014). For more information, please see the rulemaking webpage.


Standards for Walk-In Coolers and Walk-In Freezers

The following content summarizes the energy conservation standards for WICFs. The text is not an official reproduction of the Code of Federal Regulations and should not be used for legal research or citation.

Current Standard

Walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6291(16), on or after January 1, 2009 must be assembled from components that meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 10 CFR 431.306. This information is also available in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

To submit questions related to the implementation of the current standard, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Amended Standard

Walk-in coolers and walk-in freezer panels, doors, and refrigeration systems manufactured on or after three years after the date of publication in the Federal Register shall comply with the following standards:

Table 1. Standards for Doors Effective August 4, 2014
Equipment Category Internal Rating Temp. (°F) External Rating Temp. (°F) Operating Temp. (°F) Equipment Class Designation* Maximum Daily Energy Consumption (kWh/day)**
Display Door 35 (M) 75 greater than equal to sign 32 DD.M 0.04 × Add + 0.41
-10 (L) 75 less than equal to sign 32 DD.L 0.15 × Add + 0.29
Passage Door 35 (M) 75 greater than equal to sign 32 PD.M 0.05 × And + 1.7
-10 (L) 75 less than equal to sign 32 PD.L 0.14 × And + 4.8
Freight Door 35 (M) 75 greater than equal to sign 32 FD.M 0.04 × And + 1.9
-10 (L) 75 less than equal to sign 32 FD.L 0.12 × And + 5.6

*The meaning of the letters in this column is indicated in the columns to the left.

**Add represents the surface area of the display door; And represents the surface area of the non-display door.

Table 2. Standards for Refrigeration Systems Effective August 4, 2014
Condensing Type Internal Rating Temp. (°F) Operating Temp. (°F) Condensing Location Capacity Range (Btu/h) Equipment Class Designation* Minimum AWEF (Btu/W-h)**
Dedicated Condensing 35 (M) greater than equal to sign 32 Indoor (I) <9,000 DC.M.I, < 9,000 5.61
>9,000 DC.M.I, = 9,000 5.61
Outdoor (O) <9,000 DC.M.O, < 9,000 7.60
>9,000 DC.M.O, = 9,000 7.60
-10 (L) greater than equal to sign 32 Indoor (I) <9,000 DC.L.I, < 9,000 5.93 × 10-5 × Q + 2.33
>9,000 DC.L.I, = 9,000 3.10
Outdoor (O) <9,000 DC.L.O, < 9,000 2.30 × 10-4 × Q + 2.73
>9,000 DC.L.O, = 9,000 4.79
Multiplex Condensing 35 (M) greater than equal to sign 32 N/A N/A MC.M 10.89
-10 (L) greater than equal to sign 32 N/A N/A MC.L 6.57

*The meaning of the letters in this column is indicated in the columns to the left.

**Q represents the system gross capacity as calculated by the test procedure.

After a regulatory action has been completed, Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to identify the substantive changes between the draft submitted to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for review and the action subsequently announced, and to identify those changes made at the suggestion or recommendation of OIRA.

Test Procedure for Walk-In Coolers and Walk-In Freezers

Current Test Procedure

To determine compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedures specified at 10 CFR 431.304 for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. These are also in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

On October 21, 2011, DOE published a notice clarifying the test procedure compliance date, as well as other matters.

Amended Test Procedure:

DOE published a final rule regarding alternative efficiency determination methods and test procedures for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers.

The May 2014 final rule revised and expanded DOE’s existing regulations governing the use of alternative efficiency determination methods (AEDMs) for covered WICF products as alternatives to testing for the purpose of certifying compliance. The final rule also amended the test procedures published in April 2011.

To submit questions related to the implementation of the WICF test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.

Waivers, Exceptions, and Exemptions

Waivers

Test procedure waivers have not been issued for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR section 431 subpart V.

Exceptions

DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers.

For information about obtaining exception relief, see 10 CFR part 1003.

State Exemptions to Federal Preemption

DOE has not exempted any states from these energy conservation standards. States may petition DOE to exempt a state regulation from preemption by the federal energy conservation standard. States may also petition DOE to withdraw such exemptions. For details, see 10 CFR 431 subpart W.

Statutory Authority

The current energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment are mandated by Part A–1, the "Certain Industrial Equipment" of Title III of EPCA, as amended. (42 U.S.C. 6311–6317 ). This equipment is treated as covered equipment under Part A-1. (42 U.S.C. 6311(G))

Historical Information

The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 2007 (EPCA), as amended by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, prescribed energy conservation standards and test procedures for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers, which became effective on January 1, 2009.

EPCA directed DOE to publish test procedures to measure the energy use of walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. DOE conducted a rulemaking and published the test procedures on April 15, 2011, with a correction notice published on June 9, 2011.

EPCA also directed DOE to publish performance-based energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. DOE conducted a rulemaking and issued the energy conservation standards on May 9, 2014.

Helpful Links and Contact Information

Helpful Links

Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySaver.gov.

Contact information

For more information related to the regulation of this product, please email:


walk-in_coolers_and_walk-in_freezers@ee.doe.gov