Walk-in coolers and freezers

April 2017

Technical bulletin on amending standards under consideration

Webinar – April 2017

On March 4, 2017, Natural Resources Canada's (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency issued a Notice of Intent to amend Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations (the Regulations) to align walk-in coolers and freezers (WICF) with standards in the United States. This technical bulletin has been released to initiate the consultation process and to collect stakeholder views on the requirements being considered for WICF in Amendment 14 and 15 to the Regulations.

Input received during this stage of the process will inform the development of Amendment 14 and Amendment 15 proposals. In addition, NRCan will undertake a cost-benefit analysis using the best-available Canadian market data to assess the economic and environmental impacts of these proposed standards and to ensure Canadian consumers and businesses benefit from their implementation.

The Government of Canada intends to pre-publish a regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I, within approximately two years of this bulletin.

Background

In 2014, the Canada – United States Regulatory Cooperation Council committed to align new and updated energy efficiency standards and test standards for energy-using equipment, to the extent practicable and permitted by law.

WICF are not currently regulated in Canada. In May 2016, NRCan issued a technical bulletin describing the Amendment 14 proposal to introduce standards for WICF components in order to align with standards and effective dates in the U.S. At the time of the Amendment 14 bulletin, the United States Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) was undertaking a rulemaking to consider amended energy conservation standards for the vacated classes Footnote 1 of WICF refrigeration systems.  NRCan noted in that bulletin, that it would consider including the vacated standards once the DOE finalized the rulemaking.

On December 28, 2016, the U.S. DOE issued a pre-publication final rule in the Federal Register pertaining to energy conservation standards for WICF. This final rule adopts standards for previously vacated sub-classes of low-temperature dedicated condensing refrigeration systems and both medium and low temperature unit coolers.  It also identified walk-in process cooling refrigeration systems as not being subject to the energy conservation standards for WICFs.

On December 28, 2016, the U.S. DOE also issued a final rule in the Federal Register pertaining to test procedures for walk-in coolers and freezers.  This final rule adds and modifies definitions, establishes a method to test hot gas defrost refrigeration systems, and establishes an approach to dealing with adaptive defrost.  It also introduced marking requirements for walk-in refrigeration systems, panels and doors.

NRCan is considering the following regulatory approach to aligning with the requirements in the December 28, 2016 final rules (contingent on the energy conservation standards being published in the Federal Register and the test procedure being in effect):

  • vacated standards – Amendment 15
  • exemption of walk-in process cooling refrigeration systems from energy performance standards – Amendment 14
  • test procedure and definition changes – Amendment 14
  • marking for doors, panels and refrigeration systems – Amendment 14

Product description

Walk-in coolers and freezers are enclosed refrigerated storage spaces less than 278.71 square metres (3000 square feet) that can be walked into. Walk-in coolers are designed to operate above 0˚C and walk-in freezers are designed to operate below 0˚C. It does not include walk-in coolers and freezers designed and marketed only for medical, scientific, or research purposes.

Walk-in process cooling refrigeration system is a walk-in cooler or freezer refrigeration system that is capable of rapidly cooling its contents from one temperature to another.

Energy performance testing standard

NRCan is considering referencing the following energy performance testing standard:

Regulatory approach

Amendment 14 proposal – Update

NRCan is considering harmonising with the U.S. DOE to exclude walk-in process cooling refrigeration systems from minimum energy performance standards. NRCan is also considering requiring that all doors, panels and refrigeration systems be marked as indicated below in order to harmonize with the U.S. DOE.

NRCan is considering harmonizing with the product nameplate marking requirements of the U.S. DOE as follows for doors and panels manufactured as of June 26, 2017:

  • brand or manufacturer
  • whether the product is for use in walk-in cooler and/or walk-in freezer applications

NRCan is considering harmonizing with the product nameplate marking requirements of the U.S. DOE for refrigeration systems, including walk-in process cooling refrigeration systems, manufactured as of January 1, 2020:

  • brand or manufacturer
  • model number
  • date of manufacture
  • whether the product is for indoor use only
  • whether the product is for use in walk-in cooler and/or walk-in freezer applications
  • whether the product is only for use in process cooling applications

Amendment 15 proposal

NRCan is considering harmonizing with the U.S. DOE final rule for vacated WICF refrigeration systems as per the table below (contingent on the energy conservation standards being published in the Federal Register and the test procedure being in effect).

NRCan is considering harmonizing with the U.S. DOE dates once they are known.  At the time of writing this bulletin, the final rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register, but typically compliance dates are three years after publication.

Minimum energy performance standards being considered for WICF refrigeration systems
Product type Net capacity qnet* (Btu/h) Minimum AWEF** (Btu/W-h) Date of manufacture
Dedicated condensing refrigeration system – low temperature, indoor <6,500 9.091x10‑5xqnet +1.81 To be determined upon  publication in the U.S. Federal Register
≥6,500 2.40
Dedicated condensing refrigeration system – low temperature, outdoor <6,500 6.522x10‑5xqnet +2.73
≥6,500 3.15
Unit cooler – medium temperature 9.00
Unit cooler – low temperature <15,500 1.575x10‑5xqnet +3.91
≥15,500 4.15

* qnet is net capacity as determined in accordance with Section 431.304 of Title 10 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations.  

** AWEF is the annual walk-in energy factor.

Important dates

These regulations would come into force six months after the date of publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

In order to align with the U.S. DOE, NRCan is considering applying the standards to walk-in coolers and freezers manufactured as per the dates outlined in this bulletin.

Verification requirements

NRCan would require that these products carry a third party verification mark indicating that the product meets the minimum energy performance standard and that the information to be reported has been verified.

The verification mark is the mark of a Standards Council of Canada accredited certification body that operates an energy efficiency certification program for the product.

Reporting requirements

Energy efficiency report

The energy efficiency report required for walk-in cooler and freezer refrigeration systems would include the following information:

  • name of product (i.e. walk-in cooler or freezer)
  • brand name
  • model number
  • name of the manufacturer
  • name of the certification body whose verification mark would be affixed to the product
  • refrigeration system class
  • net capacity, as applicable
  • annual walk-in energy factor (AWEF)

The Regulations apply to products imported or shipped inter-provincially for sale or lease in Canada. This report must be submitted, by the dealer, to NRCan before the product is imported into Canada or traded inter-provincially for the first time.

Import report

A dealer who imports these products into Canada would include the following information on the customs release document:

  • name of product
  • model number
  • brand name
  • address of the dealer importing the product
  • purpose for which the product is being imported (i.e. for sale or lease in Canada without modification; for sale or lease in Canada after modification to comply with energy efficiency standards; or for use as a component in a product being exported from Canada)

Comments invited

The purpose of this bulletin is to provide stakeholders with technical detail required to comment on the requirements under consideration for walk-in coolers and freezers. 

Additional information on Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations including a current list of Standards Council of Canada accredited certification bodies can be found in the Department’s website.

We welcome your comments by May 19, 2017. All correspondence should be forwarded to:

Natural Resources Canada
Office of Energy Efficiency
580 Booth Street
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0E4
E-mail: nrcan.equipment.rncan@canada.ca