Refrigeration equipment accounts for approximately four percent of total energy consumption in commercial buildings each year. Supermarket refrigeration systems alone consume 55 percent of this commercial total.
Policymakers are newly interested in regulating commercial refrigeration equipment. A preliminary SEAD Initiative analysis indicates that approximately 90 TWh of energy could be saved each year by 2030 by adopting efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration systems in participating SEAD economies. These savings would eliminate the need for approximately 30 medium-sized power plants and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 39 million tons.
Alternative refrigeration systems have the potential to reduce energy use by up to 30 percent, but significant technological breakthroughs are needed before these systems will be economically viable.
To date, more than 30 economies around the world have developed minimum efficiency standards or labeling programs for commercial refrigerators and freezers.
The SEAD Initiative conducts technical and policy research to support development of ambitious energy efficiency policies and programs for commercial refrigeration systems.