New retail display energy label update
Refrigerated retail display cabinets (termed refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function) have had minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and energy labels applied since 2021. This includes typical supermarket display cabinets and also beverage coolers, gelato-scooping cabinets, refrigerated vending machines and ice cream freezers.
Currently the European and UK regulations mirror each other. The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021 are applied in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2018 (energy labelling of refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function) and Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/2024 (Ecodesign requirements for refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function) are applied in Europe and Northern Ireland.
In the current regulation cabinets are labelled from A to G in the UK and Europe. Cabinets labelled as G have higher energy consumption than those labelled as A. Since 2021 all cabinets except ice cream freezers have had to have an energy efficiency index (EEI) of better than 100 to be legally sold. Ice cream freezers have had to have an EEI of better than 80. The regulation includes a change in the requirements stating that from 1 September 2023 when the maximum EEI for ice cream freezers will be 50 and for other cabinets will be 80. The only category of cabinet exempted in the new revision will be drum vending machines. This means that for ice cream freezers the E, F and G labelling categories will be removed. For other cabinets (except drum vending machines) the G label will be removed.
This is quite a dramatic change for ice cream freezers where the EEI reduces significantly. All cabinets that are sold in Europe must be listed on the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL). Interrogating the EPREL indicates that 46% of ice cream cabinet models will be removed from the EPREL. Of the remainder, 35.5% of cabinets are listed as a D label and 17.2% are listed as a C label. Only 1.2% of the database is listed as an A or B label.
The impact of the change for refrigerated vending machines is also relatively dramatic with 20.4% being listed as a G. However, it is not apparent from the EPREL how many of the G labelled cabinets are drum vending machines which are exempted from the latest change in the regulations.
The change for other supermarket cabinets is less significant with only the G label being removed. This has the most significant impact on open fronted cabinets (very few cabinets with doors are labelled G) where 19.8% of remote and 14.3% of integral cabinets will be removed. The impact on gelato-scooping cabinets is minimal as only 0.5% are labelled a G but the impact on beverage coolers is slightly more significant as 6.2% of the listed models will be removed.
This highlights that many manufacturers will potentially need to reduce the energy used by their cabinets if they wish to continue selling many ice cream freezers, open fronted cabinets and vending machines in Europe and the UK. At RD&T we have many years of experience of developing and improving refrigerated cabinets. We can draw on this experience to improve energy performance of cabinets by optimising the airflow, assessing the refrigeration system performance and understanding how components can be optimised. If you are interested in how we could help you improve the performance of refrigerated cabinets and would like any advice, then please contact Judith Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org) at RD&T.