The Environmental Protection Agency is setting new standards for commercial refrigerators and freezers to gain Energy Star certification.
The new standards will require the appliances – many of which are used in foodservice environments – to be 33 percent more energy efficient than standard models, according to a press release.
If all commercial freezers and refrigerators sold in the U.S. meet the standard, it would result in $275 million in energy savings annually, and would eliminate the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by 400,000 vehicles, the press release stated.
EPA says that outfitting an entire kitchen with Energy Star qualified commercial foodservice equipment could save an operator nearly 285 Mbtu/year. Those savings could equal $2,500.
The new standards take effect Jan. 1, 2010.
The EPA may be responding to criticism. Consumer and environmental groups say it is often too easy for companies to qualify for the Energy Star logo.
In the consumer arena, some companies are building promotions around the concept of improving the efficiency of kitchen appliances. Whole Foods Market and Bosch Home Appliances have launched a 30-day campaign called “Make a Green Change,” part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s national Energy Star Make a Cool Change effort, with the aim of getting consumers to replace old refrigerators and freezers with more energy efficient models.