Miscellaneous refrigeration products include beverage coolers, such as wine chillers, as well a smaller category of products referred to as “combination cooler refrigeration products,” which combine a refrigerator and/or freezer compartment with a wine storage compartment. Beverage coolers are designed to maintain a higher compartment temperature than conventional refrigerators.
In 2016, DOE established the first national efficiency standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products. The new standards, which will take effect in 2019, were negotiated by manufacturers and efficiency advocates and specify a maximum annual energy consumption that varies based on the product’s refrigerated volume. The standards will reduce wine chiller energy use by 75%.
California has existing standards for wine chillers, which were last updated in 2002. The new national efficiency standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products represent energy savings of 30% relative to the California standards.
About 1.5 million beverage coolers are sold each year. DOE estimates that the least-efficient 2-cubic-foot coolers use as much as 700 kWh of electricity per year. For comparison, 2-cubic-foot conventional refrigerators just meeting the current refrigerator standards use about 275 kWh per year.