Commercial Refrigeration Equipment


Commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE) refers to refrigerators and freezers used in supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, and commercial kitchens. CRE can either be “self-contained,” where the refrigerated case and the complete refrigeration system are combined into a single physical unit, or “remote condensing,” where the compressor and condenser are located remotely from the refrigerated case. 


The current standards for CRE took effect in 2017. The standards specify maximum daily energy consumption (in kWh/day) and vary based on the type of CRE and either the product’s refrigerated volume or total display area. 

In 2023, DOE proposed amended standards for CRE. The proposed standards would reduce CRE energy consumption by up to about 50% for many CRE categories.


Refrigeration accounts for about 15% of total commercial building electricity consumption. Compared to older units, the most efficient CRE employ technologies such as LED lighting, occupancy sensors, high-performance glass doors, high-efficiency fan motors, and variable-speed compressors. Most CRE are now transitioning to new refrigerants such as propane (R-290), which provides significantly better efficiency than traditional refrigerants in addition to having very low global warming potential (GWP).

Savings through what year?: 2046
Energy saved (quads): 2.89
CO2 savings (million metric tons): 142
Net present value savings ($billion) 3% discount rate: 11.74
Net present value savings ($billion) 7% discount rate: 4.93


Federal Date States
Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard 2023
Updated DOE Standard Due 2020
3rd Federal Standard Effective 2017
Test Procedure - Last Revised - Active Mode 2014
3rd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2014
Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2012
2nd Federal Standard Effective 2012
2010 NJ Standard Effective *
2010 AZ Standard Effective *
2010 RI Standard Effective *
2010 NY Standard Effective *
1st Federal Standard Effective 2010
2nd Federal Standard Adopted (DOE) 2009
2008 CT Standard Effective
2008 OR Standard Effective
2007 WA Standard Effective
2005 MD Standard Effective
1st Federal Standard Adopted (Congress) 2005
EPACT Initial Federal Legislation Enacted 2005
2005 NJ Standard Adopted
2005 WA Standard Adopted
2005 AZ Standard Adopted
2005 RI Standard Adopted
2005 OR Standard Adopted
2005 NY Standard Adopted
2004 CT Standard Adopted
2004 MD Standard Adopted
2003 CA Standard Effective
2002 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.