New Law Could Freeze Out Compliant Manufacturers

Feb. 2, 2009
Manufacturers of walk-in coolers and freezers are concerned that a new federal energy efficiency law that regulates the design of their equipment will give noncompliant competitors an unfair advantage.

A new federal efficiency law will harm compliant manufacturers of walk-in coolers and freezers, according to a news release by the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), Arlington, VA.

Stephen Yurek, president of AHRI, says a similar law on the books in California caused rampant non-compliance, and put law-abiding manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage.

"Now that similar standards for walk-in coolers and freezers have become federal law, refrigeration manufacturers are concerned this is going to be a national problem," Yurek says.

The federal regulations include a number of prescriptive meaasures to improve the efficiency of walk-in freezers and coolers made after Jan. 1, 2009, and many manufacturers have designed their products to compy with the standards.

Yurek says the California and the federal law have no enforcement
mechanisms in place.

"So that drawaback, and a lack of awareness among equipment installers and owners that these laws exist will result in noncompliance becoming a growing issue. This is not only bad for our members' businesses; it also hurts our ability as a nation to save energy," Yurek says.

Product manufacturers believe the solution is one that combines consumer education with a certification program for walk-in coolers and freezers that would clearly identify those units that have been independently tested to verify they achieve a federally established minimum performance rating.