The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conferred environmental honors on five manufacturers of propane (R290)-based commercial refrigeration cabinets in this year’s ENERGY STAR awards program – True Manufacturing, Minus Forty QBD, Beverage-Air, Hoshizaki America and Welbilt.

EPA awarded all five companies ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year. It was the second such honor for True Manufacturing and the first for Minus Forty QBD and Beverage-Air. Hoshizaki America and Welbilt received Sustained Excellence awards for having received Partner of the Year awards for nine and twelve consecutive years, respectively.

Every year, the ENERGY STAR awards highlight companies who contribute to protecting the environment and “demonstrate that delivering real climate solutions makes good business sense,” EPA said. This year, EPA announced 221 award winners across four categories –  Sustained Excellence, Partner of the Year, Contractor of the Year and Excellence.

“ENERGY STAR has grown to become the international standard for energy efficiency and one of the most successful voluntary U.S. government programs in history,” EPA said, adding that since the beginning of the program in 1992, it has saved more than US$500 (€453) billion in energy costs and help prevent more than four billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Designing and manufacturing environmentally friendly equipment is part of the Partner of the Year award. Other key components include: promoting the company’s ENERGY STAR partnership, marketing ENERGY STAR awarded products and providing public and in-house education and training concerning the environmental benefits of products carrying the ENERGY STAR label.

“ENERGY STAR has grown to become the international standard for energy efficiency.”


True Manufacturing 

Headquartered in O’Fallon, Missouri, True Manufacturing manufactures and supplies commercial, residential and lab-grade refrigeration equipment and ice-making systems. The company first started marketing R290 refrigeration cases eight years ago and developed a propane-based air curtain beverage cabinet in 2019. 

EPA recognized True Manufacturing’s continued promotion of “responsible and sustainable manufacturing by converting 99% of all its commercial refrigeration products to R290.” The company also provided technical support and feedback on refrigerants, energy consumption and product testing for ENERGY STAR commercial refrigerator and freezer Version 5.0’s specifications and collaborated to update codes and standards for broadening low-GWP refrigerant applications.

Minus Forty QBD

Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, Minus Forty QBD manufactures commercial refrigeration equipment. Last fall, Minus Forty and QBD merged into the company Due North. In 2017, Minus Forty converted its range of refrigeration display cases to R290. Established in 1981, QBD produces R290-based beverage coolers and refrigerated cabinets

EPA recognized Minus Forty QBD for “utilizing R290 in 98% of its products and innovations that drive energy efficiency performance.” The company was specifically recognized for using variable speed compressors, fans, controls and insulation in a new cooler design to obtain a 33% energy efficiency improvement compared to its last ENERGY STAR model. 


Headquartered in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Beverage-Air manufactures commercial refrigeration equipment for the foodservice industry. In 2019, Nick Schriner, Director of Engineering for Beverage-Air, said the company was “100% committed to transferring to R290.” 

EPA recognized Beverage-Air for continuing to transition its products to R290 and cited that 50% of the company’s commercial refrigeration equipment is ENERGY STAR certified. In addition, the company was recognized for its innovation in using “variable speed compressors and adaptive defrost features.”

Hoshizaki America

Headquartered in Peach Tree, Georgia, Hoshizaki America is a commercial food service equipment manufacturer. In 2021, the company transitioned its products to R290. “We decided to focus on R290 more than any other type of refrigerant because we think that it will be the dominant future option for this industry,” said Sally Ray, Director of Marketing at Hoshizaki America.

EPA recognized Hoshizaki America for “advancing energy efficiency, energy savings, and lower carbon footprints through improved designs,” including smaller, self-contained ice machines.


Headquartered in New Port Richey, Florida, Welbilt is a commercial food service equipment manufacturer with its Delfield-brand providing refrigeration solutions. In 2019, Delfield switched its combined refrigeration/heating units to propane to realize a 10–15% efficiency increase over the previous R404a refrigerant, said Marcy Mathews, Director and Product Management at Global Delfield.

EPA recognized Welbilt for expanding its ENERGY STAR offerings.