Automatic Commercial Ice Makers


Automatic commercial ice makers (ACIMs) make and harvest ice and may include a means for storing and dispensing ice. They are typically found in hotels, restaurants, health care facilities, and educational settings. Ice makers include both batch-type and continuous-type equipment. Batch-type ice-makers operate with alternate freezing and harvesting periods and typically produce cube-type ice. Continuous-type ice-makers continually freeze and harvest ice at the same time and primarily produce flake or nugget ice.


Congress established the first national standards for ACIMs as part of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005, and they took effect in 2010. The standards applied to cube-type ice makers with capacities between 50 and 2,500 pounds per 24-hour period and were based on state standards adopted earlier by Arizona, California, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. The standards for energy use are expressed as energy use (in kWh) per 100 pounds of ice produced and vary based on capacity and equipment type. There are also water use requirements that limit the condenser water use for water-cooled equipment.

In 2015, DOE finalized new standards for ACIMs. The standards, which took effect in 2018, extend coverage to flake, nugget, and tube-type machines and to capacities up to 4,000 pounds per 24 hours. 


The minimum amount of water necessary to produce 100 pounds of ice is 12 gallons. However, additional water is consumed with batch-type machines, largely due to any remaining water often being purged after harvest cycles. Technology options for improving the energy efficiency of ice makers include improved heat exchangers and more-efficient compressors, fans, and motors.

Savings through what year?: 2047
Energy saved (quads): .18
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 10.9
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: .94
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: .43


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2026
Updated DOE Standard Due 2023
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2018
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2015
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2012
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2012
2010 RI Standard Effective *
2010 NY Standard Effective *
1st Federal Standard Effective 2010
2008 WA Standard Effective
2008 AZ Standard Effective
2008 OR Standard Effective
2007 CA Standard Effective
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2005
2005 WA Standard Adopted
2005 AZ Standard Adopted
2005 RI Standard Adopted
2005 OR Standard Adopted
2005 NY Standard Adopted
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 2005
2004 CA Standard Adopted

* State standard never went into effect due to preemption by federal standard.

Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.