DOE EISA Compliance Clarification

We have received some clarification from the Department of Energy in response to our last blog “The Risk of Selling Non-Compliant Walk-ins”.  The information in context was correct but there was a misunderstanding as to whether Walk-in Cooler manufacturers on the DOE website were compliant.  It was our assumption that all manufacturers that registered on the website are EISA compliant, but this is not necessarily the case.  Also, there may be some manufacturers that are EISA compliant and have tried to register on the DOE website but are not listed as of yet.  Please check with the manufacturer and verify if they are EISA compliant.  Below is the response that we received from the Department of Energy:

Under current law, only manufacturers of component parts of walk-in coolers and freezers must certify their products with DOE.  In this certification, manufacturers of these components must state that their equipment is manufactured in accordance with the requirements found in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) and subsequent DOE regulations found at 10 C.F.R Part 431, Subpart R.  DOE specifically requires that the manufacturers of panels, doors and refrigeration systems certify with DOE that their equipment complies with the applicable statute and regulations.  The certification requirements for walk-in cooler and freezer components are fully described in 10 C.F.R. §§ 429.12 and 429.53.

Once DOE receives a certification submission from a component manufacturer, it will be processed and the information will be posted on the DOE website at: http://www.regulations.doe.gov/certification-data/.  It typically takes two weeks from the time a submission is made before it appears on the website.  Because of this delay, it is possible that manufacturers of walk-in cooler and freezer components could have submitted their certification to DOE and not yet appear on the DOE website.  Products are listed on the DOE website by brand rather than manufacturer.  Because of these facts, the list of manufacturers that US Coolers has provided in their email does not accurately reflect the manufacturers who have certified that their equipment complies with the law.

Further, DOE’s energy conservation standards regulatory program is based on self-certification.  If a manufacturer has submitted a certification report, then their equipment has been certified by the manufacturer as being manufactured in compliance with the law.  DOE has not, however, tested this equipment or reached an independent determination about the equipment’s compliance with federal energy conservation laws.  DOE will routinely test equipment listed on the website to ensure that manufacturers accurately represent the compliance of their equipment.  DOE will also take action against manufacturers who misrepresent the compliance of their equipment.

DOE does have the right to impose fines on manufacturers of walk-in cooler and freezer components who fail to certify that their equipment complies with the applicable statute and regulations.  DOE has done this in the past; past enforcement actions are posted on the DOE Enforcement website at:  http://energy.gov/gc/enforcement-news

In addition to the certification requirements, DOE requires that manufacturers of walk-in cooler and freezer components that affect energy consumption as well as manufacturers of complete walk-in coolers and freezers comply with the energy efficiency requirements contained within EISA and DOE regulations.  It is a prohibited act to distribute in US commerce walk-in cooler and freezer components or completed walk-in coolers and freezers that are not in compliance with these requirements.  DOE can, and will, assess fines on manufacturers who commit a prohibited act.  In other words, the manufacturer of walk-in cooler and freezer components as well as the manufacturer of a completed walk-in cooler or freezer can be held financially liable for failing to follow energy conservation laws when manufacturing a walk-in cooler or freezer for distribution in US commerce.

You can access information about the energy conservation standards and test procedures for walk-in coolers and freezers at:

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/product.aspx/productid/26

For more information concerning certification and enforcement, please email: certification_compliance_enforcement@ee.doe.gov

We hope that this clarifies any ambiguity or inaccuracies in our last blog.  We are trying to make sure that our industry is aware of EISA and how it will be enforced.  As always, if you any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us or post a comment below.  Thank you.

Comments