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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 5, May 2012, Posted On: 4/11/2012

NAMA Responds To EPA's Energy Star Vender Rule Change Proposals

Tim Sanford
vending machine, refrigerated vending machine, National Automatic Merchandising Association, Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Star specification for refrigerated beverage vending machine, Energy Star Version 3.0, U.S. Department of Energy, HFC-based refrigerant, CO2 refrigerant

CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association reports that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of launching a revision to the Energy Star specification for refrigerated beverage vending machines.

Called Version 3.0, the new specification is scheduled to take effect in August of this year, together with the new federal minimum efficiency standard established by the U.S. Department of Energy for refrigerated beverage vending machines. NAMA explained that, depending on the machine type, these standard levels are equal to or more stringent than current Energy Star Version 2.1 requirements, which have been effective since July 2007.

While the EPA's revised specification does present an opportunity for the Energy Star program to deliver additional energy savings (especially for vending machines using environmentally harmful HFC-based refrigerant), it may have the effect of excluding vending machines cooled with more environment-friendly CO2-based refrigerant, NAMA explained. Many vending machines with CO2 refrigerant are now in the early stages of development, and the necessary components to optimize those refrigeration systems are not commercially available. "Thus, manufacturers could be prevented from receiving the Energy Star designation for machines that are more environment-friendly," the association pointed out.

EPA has sought input from industry stakeholders on the new specification, and NAMA has submitted comments that describe the impact of the more stringent standards on the industry, outline manufacturing trends and offer suggestions for including CO2 refrigeration technology in the Energy Star program.

Information may be had from NAMA's regional legislative director, Sheree Edwards, at sedwards@vending.org.

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