Food storage appliances found in bars and restaurants, large-scale food preparation areas and in industrial processing, amongst others, so called ‘professional cold’ appliances, are not consumer equipment, but have a significant environmental impact.
These include professional storage cabinets, blast cabinets, chillers and remote condensing units, and were estimated to consume in the EU around 116.5 TWh in 2012, equivalent to the electricity produced by 31 large sized coal power plants (500MW).
The environmental impact of these products is not only limited to energy wastage but also the use of refrigerants, similar to fridges in our houses. The higher the so-called Global Warming Potential (GWP) of these refrigerants, the worse the impact on our climate and therefore the need to address these aspects.
What’s the European Union doing?
The European Commission has proposed a draft Ecodesign regulation on professional storage cabinets, blast cabinets, condensing units and process chillers as well as energy labelling specifically for professional storage cabinets. Having undergone scrutiny by the European Parliament and Council for a period of 3 months, it was be published in 2015.
Annual electricity savings of 6.3 TWh by 2020 are expected, equivalent to roughly 9 medium sized coal power plants (100MW) required to produce this electricity.
What does the Coolproducts campaign want?
- Progressive requirements on the GWP performance, with a GWP limit of 150 in 2014 (so called “Tier I” standards) and a total ban by 2017 (Tier II), where components and parts are available and the safety risk (due to explosive nature of some refrigerants with a low GWP) is acceptable.
- More challenging Ecodesign requirements for professional cabinets (more closely matching those of domestic refrigeration), remote condensing units and chillers.
- Tighten the energy class limits for professional storage cabinets, so no products can populate class A and beyond from the entry into force of the energy label. This will ensure innovation on the market, whilst conveying clear information to final users.