DOE Sets New Commercial Refrigeration Energy Efficiency Standards
Following through on President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy (DOE) on Feb. 28 issued new energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. Over the ensuing 30 years, it's projected that the new standards will reduce carbon pollution by 142 million tons — the equivalent of that produced by generating electricity for 14.3 million U.S. homes — while also saving businesses as much as $11.7 billion on energy bills.
An update of standards set in 2009, the new energy efficiency standards will yield on the order of a 30 percent improvement in the energy efficiency of commercial refrigeration equipment as compared to current standards, according to the DOE.
The outsized benefits of higher energy efficiency standards
Operating 24x7x365 in grocery stores, mini-marts, supermarkets and food storage facilities, commercial refrigerators, freezers and refrigerator-freezers are essential to our modern industrial food supply chain. They also suck up a lot of juice. As the DOE elaborates: "A large commercial refrigerator used in grocery stores can consume up to 17,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of power per year, while a large commercial freezer can use up to 38,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year."
As we know and is being better understood and increasingly well documented, generating all that electricity produces lots of pollution — carbon and greenhouse gas emissions that are warming global climate, as well as emissions of a range of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and contaminate our land and water resources.
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Commercial refrigerator image via Shutterstock.