The HFC Phase down is one of the biggest changes in HVAC&R history – this will affect all industries dependent on heating and cooling infrastructure.
What is the HFC Phase Down?
The world of synthetic refrigerants is undergoing significant change.
A global treaty designed to protect the ozone layer and our atmosphere, the Montreal Protocol has put increasing pressure on fluorinated or “F-Gases” due to their effect on the environment. Synthetic refrigerants have been identified as depleting the ozone layer and a lot of focus has been on removing refrigerants with a high Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). The Montreal Protocol is responsible for one of the worlds most effective environmental campaigns – the banning of CFC’s.
With CFC and now HCFC refrigerants identified as ozone depleting and banned in New Zealand, many businesses not prepared for these changes face skyrocketing costs or worse, no supply of their current refrigerant.
Attention is now on the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of those refrigerants that were recommended as CFC and HCFC replacements. Increasing global regulation is seeing these synthetic gases experience ongoing price increases and potential shortages through a global imposed HFC Phase down.
This is a difficult time for the HVAC&R industry as many service providers do not have the knowledge, qualifications, skills or experience to work with the natural solutions that are replacements to F-Gas refrigerants. As a result, many users of synthetic refrigerants have not been given the information they need to make informed refrigerant and asset investment decisions.
What’s happening in New Zealand?
The New Zealand HFC Phase down begins in 2020 and government has begun consultation on how to achieve targets and what the step down will look like.
The phase down plans to accelerate legislative commitments to reducing the amount of HFC imported into New Zeland, and supplies of these refrigerants will be reduced, with those with the highest GWP potential most likely to be first (eg R404A). New Zealand refrigerants are already being affected by the response of global suppliers and manufacturers of equipment and refrigerants to global phase down requirements and suppliers are communicating they are no longer supplying new equipment with certain high GWP refrigerants. In addition, the Emissions Trading Scheme has done an effective job of driving up refrigerant prices in New Zealand. The HFC
The HFC Phasedown can drive lower emission outcomes and energy efficiency initiatives that offer cost savings opportunities. At the same time, health and safety and compliance issues plus carbon taxes and rising synthetic refrigerant costs offer potential risks if you don’t have a plan.
How do I get ready for the HFC Phase-down?
There is a clear signal to industries within New Zealand that rely on refrigeration to start taking notice of the changing landscape and potential bottom line impacts the HFC phase-down of “F-gas” refrigerants will have.
Understanding the business risk you face is the first step in being prepared.
Why Use EcoChill when planning for your HFC Phase Down Strategy?
We’ve been working for over 17 years helping to achieve environmental and efficiency goals for customers throughout New Zealand, ensuring our customers understand all available options and the impacts to their business. As one of the few New Zealand providers with proven experience in all designing and servicing ALL natural and synthetic refrigerant technology, we can ensure you have the best cooling systems in the business. Whether it’s supporting your existing provider to get up to speed, or a complete turn-key solution, EcoChill’s market leading expertise in natural refrigerants will ensure you are making the right decisions.
Contact us today and be ready for the 2019 HFC Phase-Out.