Commercial Ice Makers


Automatic commercial ice makers are used in restaurants, bars, hotels, hospitals and a variety of commercial and industrial facilities for both food and patient care applications. The equipment is selected based on a combination of features that best fit the application. Common attributes include ice type, ice production capacity, ice hardness and ice clarity, as well as form factor and size of footprint. Commercial ice makers can be classified into either of two general equipment types, batch-type (also called cube-type) and continuous-type. Batch-type ice makers harvest ice with alternating freezing and harvesting periods and can be used in a variety of applications, but are generally used to generate ice for use in beverages. Continuous-type ice makers produce ice through a continuous freeze and harvest process and include flake and nugget ice makers. Flake ice is used primarily in food displays, such as seafood grocery store displays or salad bars, whereas nugget ice (also known as chewable ice) is primarily used in beverage applications.

Savings figures:

  • ENERGY STAR certified batch-type ice makers are about 10 percent more energy efficient and 20 percent more water efficient when compared with standard models
  • ENERGY STAR certified batch-type ice makers save businesses 700 kWh and $75 annually and $660 over the product’s lifetime on utility bills
  • ENERGY STAR certified continuous-type ice makers are about 16 percent more energy efficient
  • ENERGY STAR certified continuous-type ice makers save businesses 1,350 kWh and $145 annually and $1,260 over the product’s lifetime on utility bills

Eligible products:

  • Air-cooled batch-type and continuous-type (i.e., flake and nugget) ice makers
  • Designs include ice-making head (IMH), self-contained (SCU), and remote condensing (RCU) units
  • Air-cooled RCU units designed for connection to remote rack compressors that are alternately sold with a dedicated remote condensing unit are also eligible

Ineligible products:

  • Water-cooled ice makers; ice and water dispensing systems; air-cooled RCU units that are designed only for connection to remote rack compressors

Additional resources:

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Helpful resources for buying a commercial ice maker:

Purchasing ENERGY STAR certified CFS equipment can cut utility costs and maintenance without sacrificing features, quality, or style. Many utilities also offer rebates to offset the purchase price of ENERGY STAR equipment.

Consider selecting commercial ice makers with a lower Global Warming Potential refrigerant. Refrigerants with lower global warming potential (GWP) for commercial ice makers include R-290, R-450A, and R-513A. Selecting an ENERGY STAR certified model with a lower GWP refrigerant means your product will have a much lower impact on the climate if the refrigerant is released into the environment. The GWP compares the warming power of a substance to an equivalent amount of CO2 (GWP = 1 for CO2). Some refrigerants are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are powerful greenhouse gases with GWPs hundreds or thousands of times higher than CO2. Find commercial ice makers that contain refrigerants with a lower impact on global warming here.

ENERGY STAR Where to Buy List

For a list of ENERGY STAR dealers and distributors that sell ENERGY STAR certified equipment, visit the ENERGY STAR Where to Buy List. Please contact if you would like to be added to the list.


For a list of CFS incentives, please visit the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder.

Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR when shopping for commercial ice makers

Current Specification Effective Date: January 28, 2018

  • Covers air-cooled batch-type and continuous-type automatic commercial ice making machines
  • Includes ice making head, remote condensing unit and self contained unit designs with ice harvest rates between 50 and 4,000 pounds of ice per day, depending on equipment type.

Commercial Ice Maker Key Product Criteria: ENERGY STAR

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