The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized its first-ever ENERGY STAR specification for commercial packaged boilers. These products incorporate a burner and hot water storage to provide hydronic space heating, and in some cases hot water, in smaller commercial buildings Expanding into this category is consistent with the ENERGY STAR program’s goal of advancing energy efficiency in a growing number of industries and protecting the environment.
In commercial buildings, space and water heating dominate the gas usage, representing more than 90% of total energy consumption. These energy-saving products will be most relevant to smaller commercial spaces that may need to make a quick decision, without bringing in an engineer to analyze their system, when their boiler fails, notes EPA.
To correspond to finalizing this specification and to facilitate further efficiencies in this category, EPA is developing a system design guide intended for commercial packaged boiler end-users to offer education regarding the opportunities for efficient boiler systems.
Commercial packaged boilers that meet the new ENERGY STAR requirements offer end-users as much as 15% in energy savings and about $1,150 in energy cost savings per year when compared to standard models. If all eligible commercial packaged boilers sold in the United States were ENERGY STAR certified, the energy cost savings would grow to more than $1 billion, and 23 billion pounds of annual greenhouse gas emissions would be prevented, equivalent to the emissions of over 2 million vehicles.
To earn the ENERGY STAR label, products must be certified by an EPA-recognized third party, based on testing in an EPA-recognized laboratory. In addition, manufacturers of the products must participate in verification testing programs run by recognized certification bodies.
Commercial Packaged Boilers Specification Version 1.0 is available on the ENERGY STAR webpage.