29 January 2009
Crunchtime for seizing R22 phase out wins
R22’s phase-out brings real opportunity for consultants to grow their business despite the harsh economic climate, says air conditioning giant LG.
December 31, 2009 sees the use of virgin R22 refrigerant banned (under EU Ozone regulation EC2037/2000), but the use of recycled R22 for maintenance purposes until the end of 2014 is permitted. Experts predict stocks of recycled R22 will be depleted well before then, resulting in the soaring cost of the available refrigerant.
'The advantage to consultant engineers is twofold,' said Ken Lawlor of major LG distributor Sensible AC.
'One is they can generate reports for clients on the costs on running older and inefficient systems such as those running on R22; the other is the opportunity this gives for a sales pitch for installing newer, more efficient equipment running at half the electrical load,” he added.
Equipment using R22 uses more energy than the latest modern air conditioning plant using non-HCFC refrigerants (R410a and R407c). Energy reduction can be more than 50% and Lawlor says consultants will be rewarded for producing energy reports for their clients.
Lawlor said: “Many businesses may have paid £100k for an installation 15 years ago, but they will find that new, more energy efficient, more sophisticated kit is now available and the cost has actually come down or stayed flat. This makes updating a very attractive proposition'.
The opportunity also exists for firms to benefit from such installations which qualify for government grants and tax allowances.
The Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA) scheme encourages firms to invest in energy-saving plant or machinery specified on the Carbon Trust's Energy Technology List. This scheme provides businesses with 100% first year tax relief on their qualifying capital expenditure.
Small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in England and Scotland, or all businesses in Wales that have been trading for at least 12 months, can borrow from £5,000 to £200,000. This is unsecured, interest-free and repayable over a period of up to four years, with no arrangement fees.
Businesses in Northern Ireland that have traded for at least 12 months may be eligible to apply for a larger unsecured interest free loan of up to £400,000.