This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government
Petition Ban energy-wasting open fridges and freezers in all retail outlets
Retailers in the United Kingdom unnecessarily waste huge amounts of energy on open fridges and freezers. Climate change threatens our planet. If all supermarkets had doors on their fridges and freezers it would save energy the equivalent of the entire residential population of Poland
Bio Intelligence Service, 2007, Preparatory Studies for Eco-design Requirements of EuPs - Lot 12 : Commercial refrigerators and freezers
This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website
This response was given on 4 November 2019
The Government has no plans to ban the use of open fridges and freezers in retail outlets as it is already taking action to improve the energy efficiency of these products.
Read the response in full
The European Commission recently introduced mandatory Ecodesign minimum energy performance standards and Energy Labels for refrigerating appliances which have a direct sales function. These new standards will lead to a significant reduction in the energy used in commercial refrigerating appliances, by encouraging manufacturers to innovate in the design of these appliances, without impeding shopping.
Minimum energy performance standards are technology neutral, so do not prescribe that manufacturers should increase efficiency by putting doors on appliances. Rather, they set a minimum energy efficiency level that all manufacturers placing products on the market must meet. The legislation therefore supports innovation by allowing the manufacturer to meet the requirements in the most effective way possible, which could include but is not restricted to putting doors on fridges. It also now sets requirements on material efficiency obligations on features such as repairability, dismantlability and recyclability to reduce their overall environmental impact.
In 2020, the ecodesign policy overall is estimated to save around 8 MtCO2 and £100 on bills for the average dual-fuel household whilst also yielding a Net Present Value (NPV) to the UK of £16bn (2015-30). Net energy savings of implementing the commercial refrigeration requirements is estimated to be around 6 TWh between 2021 and 2040, equivalent to approximately 800 kt Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
The Government is encouraging the uptake of highly energy-efficient refrigerated display cabinets by the retail sector through the Energy Technology List Scheme which is it’s register of the best performing commercial products.
The 2019 update to the Energy Technology List has raised the performance requirements for refrigerated display cabinets to capture the top 25 percent of products available on the UK market across the range of cabinet types; horizontal and vertical chillers and freezers.
In this way, the Energy Technology List encourages high energy performance standards, leaving manufacturers to innovate and meet these requirements, be it through the use of doors and blinds or through the use of shelf edge technology to direct air inwards on open cabinets. This approach encourages the use of the most efficient products to suit specific retailer requirements.
The Government is also taking action to improve energy efficiency across businesses by at least 20% by 2030, with the retail sector supported by the measures below:
• The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, which requires all large businesses to audit by 5 December 2019 their energy use in buildings, processes (including refrigeration) and transport and identify energy saving opportunities;
• A new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting framework from April 2019. This legislation covers all UK quoted and large UK businesses (an estimated 11,900 organisations), requiring them to disclose energy and emissions information and details of the key energy efficiency actions taken in their annual reports;
• The Climate Change Agreements Scheme encourages improvements in energy efficiency across 53 industrial sectors, including supermarkets, in return for significant discounts of over £200M p.a. from the Climate Change Levy, the key business energy tax.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/261092)
Other parliamentary business
Original Government response
Government is taking action to improve product energy efficiency. Our minimum performance standards remove inefficient products from the market, and labelling raises awareness of the best ones.
Minimum energy performance standards, otherwise known as Ecodesign regulations, are technology neutral so do not prescribe that manufacturers should increase efficiency by putting doors on appliances.
Rather they set a minimum energy efficiency limit that all manufacturers placing products on the market must meet.
The legislation therefore leaves it up to the manufacturer as to how they meet the requirements, which could include but is not restricted to putting doors on fridges.
These regulations have recently been updated at a European level to take account of additional energy efficiency potential, following an extensive process of consultation, analysis, and stakeholder engagement.
The UK participated actively and fully in these negotiations.
The new energy efficiency standards alongside a new energy label for commercial refrigerated appliances are due to take effect from 2021 and allows businesses and consumers to choose the most efficient appliances.
In 2020, the ecodesign policy overall is estimated to save around 8 MtCO2 and £100 on bills for the average dual-fuel household whilst also yielding a Net Present Value (NPV) to the UK of £16bn (2015-30)
In addition, net energy savings of implementing the commercial refrigeration policy is estimated to be around 6 TWh between 2021 and 2040, equivalent to approximately 800 kt Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
The new regulations consider how the market will mature over the coming years in terms of technological improvements and other major factors such as the environmental impact.
It also now sets requirements on material efficiency obligations on features such as repairability, dismantlability and recyclability to reduce their overall environmental impact.
The Government also supports the uptake of highly energy-efficient refrigerated display cabinets by the retail sector through the Energy Technology List Scheme. The Energy Technology List is the UK Government’s register of energy saving commercial products.
Retailers can identify some of the best performing refrigerated display units or the curtains, blinds, doors and covers for refrigerated display cases from products listed on the Energy Technology List.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
This response was given on 23 July 2019. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.