ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) proposed federal standard for refrigerated vending machines is based on ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 32.1-2004, Methods of Testing for Rating Vending Machines for Bottled, Canned and Other Sealed Beverages, which establishes uniform testing of refrigerated vending machines to determine energy consumption.

“As a technical organization with interests in both refrigeration and reducing energy use, we are pleased that DOE and the beverage industry look to ASHRAE as the source for standards in this critical area,” said Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president. “We look forward to continued work with the Department and the relevant stakeholders to develop standards that meet the needs of the nation and the world.”

Given that refrigerated vending machines consume 2,500 to 4,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year, DOE is adopting new energy conservation standards, finding that such standards “would result in significant conservation of energy and are technologically feasible and economically justified.”

Fully-cooled medium capacity vending machines, the most common type currently being sold, cost $2,625 with annual energy costs of $188. To meet the new standards, DOE estimates the installed prices of such equipment will increase by $239 to $2,864, which will be offset by annual energy savings of $69.

Though DOE utilized the testing methods laid out in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 32.1-2004, the department employed a test point of 75°F/45 percent rh rather than the 90°F/65 percent rh specified in the standard. Also, DOE will take into consideration the fact that ASHRAE is currently updating Standard 32.1-2004 and will consider any changes that may result from the update.

The standards will apply to all beverage vending machines manufactured for sale in the U.S. or imported to the U.S., starting three years after publication of the final rule.

Publication date:10/12/2009