Why should you upgrade to energy-efficient refrigeration?
Older refrigeration units use refrigerants such as HFCs (hydrofluorocarbon), which have a high global warming potential (GWP) and are being phased out by the Australian government’s energy rating authority. The cost of repairs for these refrigerants has been increased to encourage the transition to natural gases. As such, not only do older refrigeration units consume more energy meaning they cost more to run but also can require more maintenance to keep them running at an optimal standard and safety. This is not just due to their advancing age, but also because parts are becoming less accessible and technicians are focusing their training and workforces more on their newer, more energy-efficient counterparts.
Should you replace your refrigeration unit?
You should replace your fridge or freezer if:
– It uses a phased-out refrigerant;
– It is more than 10 years old;
– It is in poor condition, is damaged, and/or corroded; and/or
– Your business’s needs have changed, and a smaller or larger unit would be more suitable.
We’d be happy to provide information on how much money your business could save by purchasing energy-efficient refrigeration equipment. You can contact our friendly team to discuss your needs today.
How to know if a fridge is energy-efficient
If you have an old fridge or freezer, it can be tricky to find the information you need to know about its energy-efficiency. A good rule of thumb is if the unit’s age is ten years or older, it’s likely that it uses older-style refrigerants which impacts its energy-efficient. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that fridges that run on HFCs are still available for purchase, but the cost of maintenance has dramatically increased, making it the more expensive choice long term. Additional features that contribute to reduced energy consumption include double glazed doors and self-closing doors.
Most importantly, you should consider your business’s needs first when purchasing commercial fridges. When browsing products, compare only like for like products. For example, features like having a glass door can significantly increase energy usage compared to a solid door. Comparing similar sized units and features and think about which unit has the most appropriate application for your service.
Check the specifications:
- GEMS Star Rating – The more stars, the more energy-efficient the unit is. You can read more about the GEMS Star Rating system here.
- Energy consumption – This tells you how much energy is consumed per hour, shown as kWh, a helpful spec to calculate your running costs.
- Refrigerant type – Phased out refrigerant types include CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs which have higher global warming potential and energy usage.
5 benefits of using energy-efficient commercial refrigeration
1. Cost savings – Reducing your energy bills and operating costs means increased profits and more money to invest in other parts of your business.
2. Environmental sustainability – Energy-efficient fridges produce a smaller carbon footprint and have less impact on the environment.
3. Improved performance – Newer technologies in refrigeration have produced fridges that maintain a more consistent temperature. In addition to using less power, energy-efficient fridges keep your food safe and ready for service which can result in reduced food waste.
4. Enhanced brand reputation – by demonstrating your commitment to being a sustainability business, you can attract new environmentally conscious customers. With an increasing expectation for corporate responsibility, energy-efficient fridges are a great place to start.
5. Compliance with Australian energy-efficiency standards and targets – Rest assured that your energy-efficient fridge meets the Australian testing standards and that your fridge runs safety (e.g. maintaining the right internal temperature) to remain compliant with food safety regulations.
At Bromic Refrigeration, we offer a range of energy-efficient products that use “Natural Refrigerant” technology (hydrocarbons). By choosing energy-efficient refrigeration, you can enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your equipment is not only compliant with Australian standards but is saving you money so you can focus on running and growing your business. You can find Natural Refrigerant units here.
Government incentives around energy-efficiency
To encourage Australian businesses to invest in energy-efficient commercial refrigeration and to help simplify the transition, the Australian government offers incentives and rebates. You can read more about them here or follow the links below to see if they apply to you:
- Queensland Business Energy Saving & Transformation Rebates
- NSW Energy Savings Scheme (ESS)
- Victorian Energy Upgrade (VEU)
- ACT Sustainable Business Program
- Emissions Reduction Fund (grants)
- SA Retailer Energy Productivity Scheme (REPS)
Real life example of ROI from upgrading to energy-efficient refrigeration
Café owner, Miranda has used her drinks display fridge for eight years. Although the fridge is still working, Miranda wants to increase her items per sale by encouraging customers to purchase drinks on-the-go, in addition to their coffee/meal. She determines her new fridge requirements to be a large, 2-door fridge with maximum space capacity for drinks with a glass door so customers can see the products. Here is a comparison based on the upgrade of her drinks fridge: