The state of Colorado has passed a bill that will make it mandatory for certain commercial equipment to meet or exceed Energy Star and WaterSense requirements in order to be leased or sold.
The legislation, which covers all commercial dishwashers, fryers, hot food-holding cabinets and steam cookers, will come into effect on Jan 1 2021.
Energy Star is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy that promotes energy efficiency, and any manufacturer failing to abide by the guidelines will now face penalization.
The bill is passed despite opposition from both the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) and the Food Service Technology Centre (FSTC).
Bill Sickles, manager of product safety and compliance engineering at InterMetro Industries Corporation, claimed that although NAFEM understood the significance of conserving energy and were supportive of Energy Star’s aims, there would be negative consequences for many of its members.
He said: “It’s important for NAFEM members to understand that this bill will prohibit sales for NAFEM members who sell non-Energy Star certified commercial foodservice equipment in Colorado.”
He added that many NAFEM members chose not to purchase Eneregy Star listed equipment because: “The incremental cost increase can be significant to some operators. Restaurants, schools, colleges, correctional facilities, and others all have budget constraints.”
David Zabrowski, vice president of FSTC, agreed – describing Colorado’s approach as noble but misguided.
He said: “Energy Star is a successful, voluntary program intended to reward the top 25 percent of equipment that meets its exacting standards.
“Colorado is trying to mandate energy-efficient standards without understanding the range and complexity of commercial foodservice equipment standards.”