Commercial Ice Maker Standards for Energy Efficiency

Efficiency standards for commercial ice makers were originally established by the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA). Although that policy was updated in 2010, new efficiency standards will take effect in January 2018.1 This means manufacturers have until that date to comply with the improved energy standards put forth by amendments that were approved in 2015. Below, you can learn more about the old and new standards, as well as how the new ones will affect the ENERGY STAR program.

Energy Efficient Ice Maker Standards

The Department of Energy's standards revision in 2010 dictated efficiency rules for automatic ice makers capable of producing between 50 and 2,500 pounds of cube-type ice every 24 hours. The new standards modify regulations on these previously covered types of ice machines and extend new rules to ice machines that were not covered. In the rules, "batch type automatic commercial ice makers" refers to cube ice, which is made on a grid evaporator and harvested into a bin, while "continuous type automatic commercial ice makers" refers to nugget and flake ice, which are made with an auger and extruding head. The updated standards will regulate additional ice machines with varying capacities that produce different types of ice, including:

  • Continuous- and batch-type ice makers
  • Self-contained and remote ice makers
  • Air-cooled and water-cooled ice makers
  • Commercial ice makers rated to produce as much as 4,000 pounds of ice per 24 hours

To ensure manufacturers offer energy efficient ice makers, the Department of Energy standards include restrictions on the amount of resources a model can use; for energy, these efficiency standards are calculated per 24 hours, while they are calculated per 100 pounds of ice produced for water usage. The updated standards are detailed below in two charts, one for batch-type ice makers and one for continuous-type ice makers.2

Standards for Batch-Type Ice Makers

Ice Maker TypeCooling MethodHarvest Rate
(lbs. ice per 24 hr.)
Max. Energy Use
(kWh per 100 lbs. ice)
Max. Condenser Water Use
(gal. water per 100 lbs. ice)
Ice-Making HeadWater<3006.88200
Ice-Making HeadAir<30010N/A
Air800-1,5005.55 N/A
Remote CondenserAir<9887.97N/A
Remote Condenser/CompressorAir<9307.97N/A

Standards for Continuous-Type Ice Makers

Ice Maker TypeCooling MethodHarvest Rate
(lbs. ice per 24 hr.)
Max. Energy Use
(kWh per 100 lbs. ice)
Max. Condenser Water Use
(gal. water per 100 lbs. ice)
Ice-Making HeadWater<8016.48180
Ice-Making HeadAir<3109.19N/A
Remote CondenserAir<8009.7N/A
Remote Condenser/CompressorAir<8009.9N/A

In addition to lessening the negative impacts the use of these machines may have on the environment, the updated Department of Energy standards are designed to make the equipment less costly to run in order to save business owners as much as hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of each unit.3

ENERGY STAR and Efficiency Standards

In the Department of Energy's final rule, concerns were addressed regarding the impact the improved standards would have on the ENERGY STAR program.4 The ENERGY STAR program was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1992, and participation is voluntary. Because ENERGY STAR requirements5 are not more stringent than the updated DoE standards that will take effect January 2018, it is expected the EPA's program will re-evaluate its own standards for energy efficient ice makers. However, as of August 2017, no official statement has been released on what the new program criteria might be.

  1. Automatic Commercial Ice Makers Final Rule. Department of Energy. Accessed August 2017.
  2. Title 10: Energy. U.S. Government Publishing Office. Accessed August 2017.
  3. New Efficiency Standards Will Save $942 Million. NRDC. Accessed August 2017.
  4. Energy Conservation Standards for ACIM; Final Rule. Accessed August 2017.
  5. Commercial Ice Maker Key Product Criteria. ENERGY STAR. Accessed August 2017.