Two important initiatives concerning commercial catering refrigeration will be coming into force in the next year or so, the hugely anticipated Energy Related Products Directive, (formerly the Eco Design Directive) and the revised F Gas Regulations.
The objective of the Energy Related Products Directive is to improve the environmental performance of energy related products (ERPs) through ‘ecodesign.’ One of the key areas being considered is energy labelling. It would mean that catering equipment would carry labelling similar to that found on domestic equipment, rating it A-G (with A being the most energy efficient).
Refrigeration is the first category of foodservice equipment to be considered under the Energy Related Products Directive and, clearly, energy labelling will be a major benefit to catering equipment buyers and specifiers. However, at this stage no standards have been set to establish the benchmarks by which the labelling will be assessed, so no manufacturer can claim equipment meets any of the labelling criteria. EFCEM (the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers, which CESA currently chairs) is working with the EU Commission to come up with a solution as soon as possible – the current timetable is that the first part of the Directive will come into force in January 2015.
Regulations under the Energy Related Products Directive covering dishwashers, ovens, hobs and grills are also in progress.
The European Union is committed to control of fluorinated greenhouse gas (F gas) emissions, as part of the Kyoto Protocol. The main focus of regulations is to minimise emissions of F gases from products and equipment, through containment, leak reduction and repair and recovery.
Currently the EU is discussing revisions to the F Gas Regulations. The most important new measure proposed is a phase down in the supply of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), the most widely used of the F gases. This phase down is to be managed by a freeze in supply in 2015. The freeze would be followed by several reduction steps from 2016 so that, by 2030, European HFC supply would be 21% of 2015 levels.
There is a variety of new refrigerants available that are both energy-saving and less damaging to the environment. These include hydrocarbons, glycol, CO2and HFOs (a new type of refrigerant with a very low global warming potential (GWP)). Buyers should look for refrigeration that has the lowest GWP and ODP (ozone depletion potential).
For more information about regulations related to commercial catering equipment, contact CESA.
Keith Warren, is director at CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, representing over 170 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment