Walk-In Coolers and Walk-In Freezers

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As defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “walk-in cooler” and “walk-in freezer” (WICFs) mean an enclosed storage space refrigerated to temperatures, respectively, above, and at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit that can be walked into, and has a total chilled storage area of less than 3,000 square feet. The terms “walk-in cooler” and “walk-in freezer” do not include products designed and marketed exclusively for medical, scientific, or research purposes. 10 CFR 431, Subpart R. Manufacturers have been required to comply with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards for WICFs since 2009.

Current Standard | Current Test Procedure | Ongoing Rulemaking for Standards | Ongoing Rulemaking for Test Procedure | Helpful Links

Recent and Ongoing Activities

DOE has published a Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the preliminary analysis it has conducted for purposes of evaluating the need for amending the current standards for walk-in coolers and freezers (WICFs). The analysis is set forth in DOE's accompanying preliminary technical support document (TSD) for this rulemaking. DOE will hold a public meeting via webinar to discuss and receive comment on the preliminary analysis. The meeting will cover the analytical framework, models, and tools that DOE is using to evaluate potential standards; the results of preliminary analyses performed by DOE; the potential standard levels derived from these analyses (if DOE determines that proposed amendments are necessary); and other relevant issues. In addition, DOE encourages written comments on these subjects.

  • DOE will accept comments, data, and information regarding this notice until August 29, 2022.
  • Interested persons may submit comments identified by docket number EERE–2017–BT–STD–0009, by email (WICF2017STD0009@ee.doe.gov), Federal eRulemaking portal (http://www.regulations.gov).
  • Technical Support Document
  • DOE will hold a webinar on Friday, July, 22, 2022, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Click here to register for the webinar.
  • Foreign Nationals interested in participating in this webinar, must be screened by DOE Headquarters Security prior to being granted access. Please email Regina.Washington@ee.doe.gov to complete the necessary documentation at least two weeks prior to scheduled meeting date.
  • Additional webinar registration information, participant instructions, and information about the capabilities available to webinar participants will be published on DOE’s website: https://energy.gov/eere/buildings/public-meetings-and-comment-deadlines

For the latest information on the planned timing of future DOE regulatory milestones, see the current Office of Management and Budget Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. All planned dates are preliminary and subject to change.


Notice of Availability of Preliminary TSD and Request for Comment
Request for Information
  • Federal Register, 86FR37687 (July 16, 2021)
Final Rule 

The walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers standards rulemaking docket EERE-2015-BT-STD-0016 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information:

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.

Test Procedure

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • Federal Register, 87FR23920 (April 21, 2022)
Request for Information
  • Federal Register, 86FR32332 (June 17, 2021)
Hot Gas Defrost Unit Coolers; Final Rule 
  • Federal Regiter, 86FR16027 (March 26, 2021)
Hot Gas Defrost Unit Cooler; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
  • Federal Register, 85FR60724 (September 27, 2020)

Final Rule; Further Delay of Effective Date

Final Rule 

The walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers rulemaking docket EERE-2016-BT-TP-0030 contains all notices, public comments, public meeting transcripts, and supporting documents pertaining to this rulemaking.

Public Meeting Information

There is no public meeting scheduled at this time.

Submitting Public Comments

The comment period is closed.


Current Standard

WICFs manufactured and distributed in commerce, as defined by 42 U.S.C. 6311(20), must meet the energy conservation standards specified in the Code of Federal Regulations at 10 CFR 431.306.

Current Test Procedure

To determine that WICFs that are currently manufactured or distributed into commerce are in compliance with DOE standards, manufacturers must follow the test procedure methods specified at 10 CFR 431.304.

Helpful Links


DOE has established regulations on certification, compliance, and enforcement in the CFR at 10 CFR Part 429.  These regulations cover statistical sampling plans, certified ratings, certification reports, record retention, and enforcement.  More information on these regulations is available here.


For information on current test procedure waivers, see DOE’s Waivers webpage.

For information about obtaining test procedure waivers, see 10 CFR 430.27.


DOE's Office of Hearings and Appeals has not authorized exception relief for WICFs.

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

Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions

For information on further guidance and answers to Frequently Asked Questions on all covered products, see DOE’s Further Guidance database.

State Exemptions to Federal Pre-emption

DOE has not exempted any state from this energy conservation standard. 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 V and 10 CFR 431, Subpart W.

Contact information

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