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DOE Certification Reminder for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

Published by the U.S. Department of Energy: This is a reminder to manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment other than self-contained models with doors that certifications of compliance with relevant Department of Energy (DOE) energy conservation standards were due July 1, 2015.  DOE negotiated this 6-month grace period with the intention of providing manufacturers with the opportunity to submit certification reports and then allow DOE to work with manufacturers to resolve any issues or concerns regarding the certification process such that a valid certification would be submitted by the end of the grace period.  Manufacturers should take advantage of the opportunity to address any issues during the grace period and should not wait until December 31, 2015, to submit a certification report. 

Please note that manufacturers should already be in compliance with the current standards, which have been in effect since January 1, 2012.  The deadline of December 31, 2015 is the date by which manufacturers must certify to DOE that their products meet the current energy conservation standards.

In March 2011, DOE published a final rule in the Federal Register that, among other things, modified the requirements regarding manufacturer submission of compliance statements and certification reports to DOE.  The rule imposed new or revised reporting requirements for some types of covered products and equipment, including a requirement that manufacturers submit annual reports to the Department certifying compliance of their basic models with applicable standards.  The rule set a deadline of July 5, 2011 for complying with these certification requirements.

To accommodate concerns expressed by certain manufacturers about their ability to comply with the 2011 certification deadline, DOE extended the deadline nearly 18 months, to December 31, 2012.  DOE subsequently extended the compliance date for certification an additional 12 months to December 31, 2013.  DOE ultimately extended the deadline for certification to July 1, 2015, and granted a grace period for filing to December 31, 2015.  Thus, manufacturers have enjoyed a nearly four-year extension of the certification deadline.

While granting these numerous extensions for the filing of certifications, DOE has made clear the extension of the certification deadline was not an extension or grace period for compliance with the underlying standards.  DOE has emphasized that, accordingly, manufacturers should not delay testing of their products, as those products remain subject to applicable energy conservation standards even though the certification deadline has been extended.

For over four years, manufacturers have been on notice that DOE would require certification of the compliance of their products with the relevant energy conservation standards.  To the extent that manufacturers have continued, in the meantime, to distribute in commerce products subject to those standards, DOE presumes that, prior to distribution in commerce, those products have been tested and been determined by the manufacturer to be compliant with the applicable standards.  What is required by December 31, 2015 is simply submission of a report certifying that compliance to DOE.  DOE will grant no further extensions or grace periods after December 31, 2015.

As always, DOE stands ready to answer any questions you may have regarding the certification process.  For assistance, send an email message to CRE@nullee.doe.gov

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