Berkeley Lab and United Nations Launch New Cooling Equipment Guidelines

November 13, 2023

As the world copes with more extreme heat because of climate change, the need for efficient cooling devices is more pressing than ever. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is co-leading an effort to create global equipment guidelines that serve the places where this equipment is needed most.

In October, the Lab and the United Nations Environment Program’s United for Efficiency initiative (U4E) released two sets of guidelines, one for ceiling fans and one for off-grid refrigerating appliances.

At least 3.6 billion people are at high or medium risk because they lack adequate access to cooling for basic needs such as food preservation, healthcare, and safety, according to a 2022 report from Sustainable Energy for All. The Model Performance and Quality Guidelines for Off-Grid Refrigerating Appliances and Model Regulation Guidelines for Energy-Efficient Ceiling Fans establish quality and energy-efficiency considerations that can be applied to market transformation programs in developing and emerging economies for these two key product categories.

The model regulation guidelines are the latest in the series developed through the Berkeley Lab partnership with U4E. Previous guidelines have covered room air conditioners, domestic refrigerating appliances and commercial refrigeration equipment.

The previous guidelines have been successfully deployed in countries such as Brazil and Chile and regions such as Southeast Asia and southern Africa, said Nihar Shah, presidential director of Berkeley Lab’s Global Cooling Efficiency Program.

“We look forward to continued successful deployment of these new guidelines globally with U4E and other partners,” Shah added.