This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 05, 2014

Energy Department Announces New Energy Efficiency Standards for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

The Energy Department on February 28 announced new efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. Over the next 30 years, these standards will help cut carbon pollution by about 142 million metric tons—equivalent to the annual electricity use of 14.3 million U.S. homes—and save businesses up to $11.7 billion on their energy bills. The new efficiency standards are an update to the Energy Department’s standards from 2009 and will make the average commercial refrigeration unit about 30% more efficient, compared to the current standards.

Commercial refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerator-freezers are typically used to chill perishable products on display or in storage, including at grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, and other food retail and food service establishments. Since these products must be kept cold constantly, commercial refrigeration equipment generally operates 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The type of large commercial refrigerator used in grocery stores can consume up to 17,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year, while a large commercial freezer can use up to 38,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year.

Under the Obama Administration, the Energy Department has finalized new efficiency standards for more than 30 household and commercial products, including dishwashers, refrigerators, and water heaters. These standards are estimated to save consumers more than $400 billion and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1.9 billion metric tons through 2030. See the Energy Department news release.