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Key updates to refrigeration

Key updates to refrigeration

Criteria reviews mean big updates to refrigeration

Reviews of sub-technology criteria are important to keep the Energy Technology List ahead of the game. The ETL criteria for refrigerated display cabinets (RDCs) and professional refrigerated storage cabinets (PRSCs) just underwent extensive reviews. Read on and find out how these changes were considered via technological advances, product innovation, changes in Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), and test and measurement standards.

Changes to refrigerated display cabinets

RDCs are designed to store and display chilled or frozen foodstuffs for sale in retail. The ETL lists the following categories: plug in/integral, remote, water loop, chilled air cabinets and commercial beverage coolers.

Members from the British Refrigeration Association (BRA) were consulted, including supermarket retailers, cabinet suppliers and manufacturers, as well as the Foodservice Equipment Association’s refrigeration product group forum. Here are the changes:

Aligning with Ecodesign

A key update to the criteria is the revision of the energy performance thresholds to reflect the latest performance metrics. This ensures products affected are properly benchmarked for their efficiency. The latest metrics are namely the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) as per The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021 and the Ecodesign Commission Regulation (EU) 2019/2024.

Chilled air cabinets

Chilled air cabinets that are designed to work with a ducted air system are excluded from the scope of the Ecodesign regulations. This means that the current performance thresholds and performance metrics remain the same. Chilled air cabinets are still included in the ETL where regulation has omitted them – giving a benchmark in a mostly un-regulated market.

Commercial beverage coolers

Commercial beverage coolers are designed to chill and store pre-packaged, non-perishable beverage products for sale to customers. They are now separated and clearly defined as a fifth product category within the criteria. The definition of commercial beverage coolers also aligns with the Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021. The test standard for these products will now be BS EN ISO 22044:2022.

Changes to professional refrigerated storage cabinets 

PRSCs are specifically designed to store chilled and frozen foodstuffs – not to display. The ETL Scheme covers three categories of PRSC cabinets: single door, double door, and counter and under counter. These can have one or two solid doors or drawers accessing the same compartment. Here are the changes:


EEI performance requirements for Chiller (M1) and Freezer (L1) temperature cabinets have been updated.

Testing standard

We’ve retained the current testing standard of BS EN 16825:2016. However, the new testing standard ISO 22041:2019 will be adopted by the UK and EU regulations, so the ETL scheme will consider it for the next review cycle.

Common changes across the criteria

Finally, here are the blanket updates you need to know:

Global warming potential limit

We’ve introduced a refrigerant Global Warming Potential limit of ≤150. This mirrors the UK F-gas regulation and ensures a high standard of industry readiness to meet the F-gas requirement.

Making the ETL more accessible

The introduction of more verification routes for testing will assist the uptake of the scheme by reducing applicant costs, making the scheme more accessible and reducing barriers to entry. The testing will demonstrate the conformity of products against requirements, in-line with the product testing framework for ETL applications.

That’s it for this update

If you’re a manufacturer of refrigeration equipment, you can apply to have your products verified and accredited for energy efficient performance by the ETL for free.

Are you procuring refrigeration equipment and looking for the top energy efficient options on the market? The ETL is a ready-made procurement tool of independently verified and accredited energy efficient products.

For more about the refrigeration category on the ETL website, you can find it here.

For more information on criteria updates or to have your products listed, contact us at