Commercial refrigeration uses roughly 1.3 quads per year of source energy, representing about 7% of total commercial building use in the U.S. In supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores, refrigeration can account for up to half of a building's total energy use. The Refrigeration Technology Research Team is pleased to provide resources, information, and guidance on improving the efficiency of new and existing refrigeration systems and components. 

Events Calendar

Better Buildings partners participate in webinars, peer-exchange calls, meetings, and industry workshops and conferences. Browse upcoming events and opportunities to participate by month.


The Refrigeration Technology Research Team is not currently active. For questions about the resources on this page, please contact the Better Buildings Alliance. 

On-Demand Webinars

Watch all previously recorded webinars in the On-Demand Webinars library sorted by popular topics such as resilience, zero energy buildings, and more.

Featured Solutions

This report breaks down best practices and guidelines for conducting case retrofits by project stage, from initial planning through project completion and system monitoring.
This case study documents one year of operating experience with a transcritical carbon dioxide (TC CO2) booster refrigeration system at Delhaize America’s Hannaford supermarket location in Turner, Maine.
This report is a field test of a liquid refrigerant pump that enhances the performance of a supermarket refrigeration system.
Field demonstrations of high-efficiency permanent magnet synchronous (PMS) AC motors for evaporator fans in commercial refrigeration equipment that was developed in partnership with DOE.
This report is a laboratory evaluation of transcritical CO2 booster system for supermarket refrigeration.

Other Resources


Spreadsheet tool for a mechanical designer to calculate the feasibility of heat recovery system integration. Assumes that the refrigeration system is a system with a single suction group.

Case Studies

This case study discusses the motivation and implementation of Fresh & Easy’s case retrofit program which, since completion, has resulted in significant gas and electricity savings at multiple locations across the country.
This report shared the findings of the pilot project which characterizes and estimates the potential for supermarkets to participate in utility demand-response programs, with a focus on the refrigeration system.
To advance its commitment to cutting energy waste, CKE Restaurants, Inc. collaborated with Southern California Edison’s New Products Development and Launch organization to field test an advanced demand defrost control system for walk-in coolers and freezers in their Carl’s Jr. restaurants. The testing showed that the retrofit was technologically feasible and can provide encouraging financial paybacks.


Easy-to-use guidance for achieving 50% energy savings in new grocery stores ranging in size from 25,000 to 65,000 ft2 with medium- and low-temperature refrigerated cases and walk-ins.


Refrigeration often accounts for over half of the energy consumption in supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience stores. Learn how the Better Buildings Alliance is helping members reduce refrigeration energy consumption.
Learn about the Refrigeration team's current initiatives, future activities, and resource development and deployment from day 1 of the Summit. 
Learn about the Refrigeration team's current initiatives, future activities, and resource development and deployment from day 2 of the 2014 Summit.
Refrigeration Systems: How Smart is Yours? 2016 Better Buildings Summit
In this session, panelists described how display-case controllers can help lower costs for installation, start up, energy, and maintenance, all while improving food quality and safety. Learn whether display-case controllers are right for your food retail business.


Experimental and analytical evaluation using thermal mass in supermarket refrigerated display cases to lower peak electric demand.

Showcase Projects

Whole Foods Market installed a gray/storm water recycling system, a 157-kW combined heat and power (CHP) plant, a 324-kW solar canopy array, and 19 self-generating wind/solar powered parking lot lights to save 60% energy annually at this Brooklyn, NY store.
Walmart: South Euclid, OH Showcase Project
Walmart achieved a 37% reduction in source energy use intensity by implementing a series of lighting and space conditioning energy efficiency measures including 100% LED lighting, refrigerated case door testing, reclaimed heat, and efficiency chillers.


This webinar was an introduction to case door retrofit technology and the potential that it offers food retail store operators.

Additional Information

GreenChill Partnership
An EPA partnership with food retailers to reduce refrigerant emissions, global warming and ozone layer impacts.

ENERGY STAR Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers
A directory of qualified self-contained commercial refrigeration equipment.

Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Rulemaking
DOE energy conservation standards and test procedure rulemaking documents. Includes discussions on energy-efficient technologies and full analytical results.

Food Marketing Institute
Among many other things, FMI provides information and resources related to food retail, and hosts the annual Energy & Store Development Conference.

Sector Priorities

Meet the Technology Expert