The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) has responded to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) request for input on a revision to the Energy Star specification for refrigerated beverage vending machines, entitled Version 3.0. The new specification is scheduled to take effect in August 2012, along with the new federal minimum efficiency standard established by the U.S. Department of Energy for refrigerated beverage vending machines.
Depending on the machine type, these standard levels are equal to or more stringent than current Energy Star Version 2.1 requirements, which have been effective since July 2007. While the EPA's revised specification does present an opportunity for the Energy Star program to deliver additional energy savings (especially for vending machines that utilize environmentally harmful HFC-based refrigerant), it may have the effect of excluding vending machines that utilize the more environment-friendly CO2-based refrigerant. Many vending machines with CO2 refrigerant are in the early stages of development, and the necessary components to optimize those refrigeration systems are not commercially available. Thus manufacturers could be prevented from receiving the Energy Star designation for their machines that are more environment-friendly. At this juncture, the EPA is seeking input from industry stakeholders on the new specification by April 6. NAMA has submitted comments to the EPA which described the industry impact of the more stringent standards, manufacturing trends, and suggestions to include CO2 technology in the Energy Star program. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.