EA issues reminder on F-Gas changes

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02 December 2021
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The Environment Agency has issued a reminder to businesses regarding upcoming changes to products that can be placed on the Great Britain and Northern Ireland (EU) markets from January 1, 2022.

Changes to the GB F-Gas Regulation apply to the following two categories of equipment containing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs): 

  • New refrigerators and freezers for commercial use (hermetically sealed equipment) that contain HFCs with global warming potential (GWP) of 150 or more. 
  • New multipack centralised refrigeration systems for commercial use with a rated cooling capacity of 40 kW or more that contain, or whose functioning relies upon, fluorinated greenhouse gases with GWP of 150 or more, except in the primary refrigerant circuit of cascade systems where fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) with a GWP of less than 1,500 may be used. 

For the purposes of the upcoming bans: 

commercial use’ means used for the storage, display or dispensing of products, for sale to end users, in retail and food services; 

multipack centralised refrigeration systems’ means systems with two or more compressors operated in parallel, which are connected to one or more common condensers and to a number of cooling devices such as display cases, cabinets, freezers or to chilled store rooms; 

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primary refrigerant circuit of cascade systems’ means the primary circuit in indirect medium temperature systems where a combination of two or more separate refrigeration circuits are connected in series such that the primary circuit absorbs the condenser heat from a secondary circuit for the medium temperature.

The most commonly used refrigerant that will be subject to these bans is R134a, which has a GWP of 1430.

The GB F-Gas Regulation will phase down the use of HFCs by 79% by 2030. This will make refrigerants with a higher GWP harder to obtain and more expensive.