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Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machines


A vending machine is a self-contained device that dispenses a product when the user makes a product selection, often after the deposit of legal tender. An average vending machine consumes between 2,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) and 4,400 kWh of energy per year, costing approximately $200 to $350. The vending machine refrigeration system accounts for approximately 65 percent of the energy use, while the lighting system accounts for the remaining 35 percent. There are an estimated 200,000 vending machines in operation in Canada, requiring an average of about 2 million kWh of electricity daily. This is equivalent to the electrical demands of 50,000 houses. In most cases, it is the user of the vending machine, not the supplier who is responsible for the energy costs. Therefore, there is little incentive for the supplier to purchase energy-efficient equipment.

Over 90 percent of the vending machines shipped into Canada are beverage dispensing. The Canadian Energy Efficiency Regulations for vending machines specify minimum performance requirements that apply to the following refrigerated bottled and canned beverage machines:

  • Solid/opaque door vending machines
  • Multi-package vending machines, which are beverage vending machines that are able to display and dispense at least 20 types of beverage
  • Snack and refrigerated beverage vending machines, which are vending machines that :

    1. dispense packages of non-refrigerated, solid food as well as refrigerated bottled or canned beverages
    2. old a maximum of 100 bottles and/or canned beverages

The maximum energy-use levels, specified in the Regulations, for each of the above vending machine types are listed in the table below. These levels do not apply to refurbished vending machines, unless their original date of manufacture was after the regulation effective date. The Regulations also specify that these vending machines are to be tested in accordance with ASHRAE Standard 32.1-2004 – Methods of Testing for Rating Bottled and Canned Beverage Vending Machines.

Machine Type
ED, max Ambient Air ( °C ) Regulation Effective Date
Solid/opaque door 0.55 (8.66+0.009 C)1
0.45 (8.66+0.009 C)2
January 1, 2007
January 1, 2008
Multi-package 0.55 (8.66+0.009 C) 23.9 January 1, 2007
and refrigerated beverage
0.55 (8.66+0.009 C) 23.9 January 1, 2007
  1. ED, max is the maximum daily energy consumption (kWh).
  2. C is the maximum quantity of product that is recommended by the manufacturer to be dispensed from one full loading of the machine.

The efficiency levels set out in the Regulations have been harmonized with ENERGY STAR® Tier I and Tier II levels, and are 45 percent and 55 percent more stringent than those in CSA standard CAN/CSA C804-96.

Also, in accordance with the Regulations, each vending machine must :

  • Be equipped with hard-wired controls and/or software capable of automatically placing the machine into a low-power mode during periods of extended inactivity while still connected to its power source to facilitate the saving of additional energy
  • Have low-power mode controls and/or software that are capable of on-site adjustments by the vending supplier or machine owner.
  • Be capable of automatically returning to its normal operating conditions at the conclusion of the inactivity period.
  • Be capable of operating in each of the low-power states described below:
    1. Lighting low-power state – lights off for an extended period
    2. Refrigeration low-power state – the average beverage temperature is allowed to rise above 4.4°C for an extended period
    3. Whole machine low-power state – the lights are off and the refrigeration operates in its low-power state

Premature replacement of vending machines is not common, and therefore inefficient vending machines tend to remain in service until the end of their useful life. Generally, the life of vending machines ranges from 7 to 13 years, with two/three refurbishments. Irreparable vandalism is cited as a common reason for vending machine replacement.