A wine chiller is a refrigerator designed for the cooling and storage of wine. Though wine chillers are refrigeration products, they were excluded from DOE’s recent refrigerator rulemaking because the current test procedures are not applicable and because they don’t cool below 39°F. Though most wine chillers are a fraction of the size of refrigerators, some use as much energy as a full-size refrigerator.
DOE published a framework document for wine chillers and miscellaneous refrigeration products in February 2012. A final rule for wine chillers is expected in mid-2014 with an expected effective date of mid-2017. DOE is concurrently working on a test procedure with a final rule expected in 2013. California set standards for automatic- and manual-defrost wine chillers more than a decade ago.
Wine chillers generally use one of two types of cooling systems: (1) vapor compression, which is driven by a compressor and is the cooling system typically used for refrigeration; or (2) thermoelectric, where electric power is used to generate a temperature difference between two different types of materials and heat is transferred from the cold side to the hot side. Thermoelectric refrigeration products do not fall under the statutory definition of “refrigerator.” In order to be able to include thermoelectric wine chillers in a wine chillers rulemaking, DOE must first determine that they are a covered product. Then, to be able to set standards, DOE must determine that thermoelectric wine chillers have a minimum average household energy use of 150 kWh/year and a national annual energy use of 4.2 billion kWh/year.
|Potential Effective Date of Updated Standard||2019|
|Updated DOE Standard Due||2016|
|2003||CA Standard Effective|
|2002||CA Standard Adopted|
|EPACT Federal Legislation Enacted||1992|
Timeline reflects state standards from 2001 to present; federal standards from inception to present.