The F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 brought with it new requirements for the whole HVACR industry, as well as manufacturers and end consumers.
Describing the current market situation and providing a set of measures that are necessary to achieve the defined F-Gas targets, ASERCOM has issued the following statement:
Through increased demand for climate-friendly technologies, the new F-Gas Regulation 517/2014 creates new business opportunities and will accelerate innovation and economies of scale in producing adapted technologies. All members of ASERCOM support the new F-Gas rules and have agreed to qualify components and products for new installations, retrofit and maintenance for the HVACR sector, without compromising state-of-the-art technologies and technical standards.
ASERCOM members have engaged heavy engineering efforts on evaluating the implementation of the F-Gas Regulation since 2014. The cap- and quotas first step, in place since 2016, allowed our industry to prepare a first phase of product offering with lower GWP refrigerants. This transitional period has enabled users to select components and products with a GWP which is between 50 and 60 percent lower compared to R404A/R507A (listed as the highest GWP in HVACR sector). In parallel, the industry has worked on regulations like building codes, on technical products standards and on training of personnel to remove the remaining barriers for a wider use of natural refrigerants.
The new main target of ASERCOM today is to inform customers – more specifically contractors - through all activity sectors about the availability of alternatives to fluorinated greenhouse gases, including the environmental, technical, economic and safety aspects of their use. ASERCOM members are actively engaged and contribute in most of the technical, standardisation and regulation committees as well as working groups to advocate an appropriate environmental transition.
Despite these significant efforts, investment decisions and market developments are affected by the quota mechanism which leads to price increases as well as restrictions in availability of lower GWP refrigerants in the EU market place. The EU commission has engaged a monitoring of these factors to acquire a clear overview on key impacts of the F-Gas regulation.
Qualification of components and compliance with EU safety standards as well as Ecodesign regulations engage the liability of the manufacturers but also, to a certain extent, the responsibility of the contractors. Risk analysis will become a must have in the coming years to ensure best practice in the refrigeration industry.
We as ASERCOM reaffirm our commitment and engagement to accompany our industry to the 2030 F-Gas target of CO2 emission reduction efforts, stressing the necessity to:
- Support our industry in the critical environmental transition period started early 2018 to 2030 with appropriate availability of lower GWP substances to cope with the F-Gas phase down mechanism;
- Pursue our technical contribution to F-Gas success by consistently raising awareness among European contractors and the acr industry during this learning curve period;
- Keep strong focus and effort in the evaluation of sustainable alternatives, limiting the proliferation of refrigerants in the EU market place;
- Offer a range of redesigned and qualified components for use with sustainable alternatives, including low GWP synthetic as well as natural refrigerants like CO2, ammonia or HC refrigerants;
- Increase service technicians’ knowledge by encouraging dedicated training courses on new and future alternative challenges (e.g. flammability or high pressure aspects).
For more information, refer to ASERCOM’s technical statements at www.asercom.org.