EPA Expected To Release Final Version Of New Energy Star Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machine Specifications

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release the final version the Energy Star specification for refrigerated beverage vending machines, entitled Version 3.0, on June 1, 2012, the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) announced. On April 6, NAMA submitted comments to the EPA that described the industry impact of the more stringent standards, manufacturing trends, and suggestions to include CO2 technology in the Energy Star program. 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 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 yet commercially available. Thus manufacturers could be prevented from receiving the Energy Star designation for their machines that are more environment-friendly.
In its first two draft specification proposals, the EPA initially recommended a final effective date of Aug. 31, 2012. However, given the delay in finalizing this specification, the EPA has extended the effective date from the originally proposed Aug. 31, 2012 to Feb. 1, 2013. The EPA will cease accepting machine qualification to the existing Version 2.1 specification as of Aug. 31, 2012, when the DOE standard for refrigerated beverage vending machines takes effect. Additionally, as proposed in Draft 2, Machine Class A and B maximum daily energy consumption levels continue to be 5 percent and 10 percent more stringent than the U.S. Department of Energy standard, respectively. For more information, please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.