New Energy Star Rules Kick In With The New Year

Equipment manufacturers—and everyone else, for that matter—watch your calendar. Enhanced testing and new verification requirements for equipment wearing the Energy Star label go into effect Jan. 1.

As many of you probably recall, a year ago, a Government Accounting Office study revealed abuses in the Energy Star program (on the domestic appliance side), and the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy hurriedly set about upgrading and strengthening the certification/listing process.

Among the changes are the new testing and verification standards. You can see the full details at The website also includes a Frequently Asked Questions document.

(That FAQ was also attached to the October edition of the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers’ NAFEM Online e-newsletter.)

According to the new requirements, manufacturers will no longer be able to choose from a wide-open field of labs to conduct Energy Star testing, but will need to choose from a list of EPA-recognized labs. In turn, those labs will submit test results directly to an EPA-recognized certification body of the manufacturer’s choice. First-party labs can be accepted, provided they’re EPA recognized, which will involve being supervised or witnessed by an EPA-recognized certification body.

Among other key points in the new system: The EPA hopes to work with certification bodies to forecast processing times and minimize any adverse effects on product-introduction cycles. As for associated costs, EPA says they’ll be determined by “market forces.”

Products that are already qualified prior to the end of this year will not have to be re-qualified. But going forward, certification bodies will be responsible for annually selecting 10% of the products that they have certified for verification testing.

Many foodservice equipment manufacturers have protested that the low volumes and semi-customization of foodservice equipment models will make testing cost-prohibitive. NAFEM has been working with interested parties to smooth the way where possible.

The EPA will host a conference call on the new third-party certification requirements on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. EST. To participate, RSVP by Nov. 8 to

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