Walk-In Coolers and Walk-In Freezers
Manufacturers have been required to comply with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers (walk-ins or WICF) since 2009. 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 are enclosed storage spaces that can be walked into, 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 current standard 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.
Recent Updates | Standards | Test Procedures | Waiver, Exception, and Exemption Information | Statutory Authority | Historical Information | Contact Information
DOE published a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers. 78 FR 55781 (September 11, 2013). 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. DOE is currently working to establish performance-based standards.
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.
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.
- Test Procedure Correction, Federal Register, 76 FR 33631 (June 9, 2011)
- Test Procedure Correction, Federal Register, 76 FR 31795 (June 2, 2011)
- Test Procedure Final Rule, Federal Register, 76 FR 21580 (April 15, 2011)
- Docket No. EERE-2008-BT-TP-0014 contains notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents for the test procedure rulemaking
On October 21, 2011, DOE published a notice clarifying the test procedure compliance date, as well as other matters.
To submit questions related to the implementation of this test procedure, visit the Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions page.
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.
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.
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))
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.
Helpful Links and Contact Information
Find tips and guidance for making your home, workplace, or vehicle more energy efficient visit EnergySaver.gov.
For more information related to the regulation of this product, please email: