A committee of industry experts put together the report to help contractors and installers understand how to plan for the changes in the availability of common refrigerants. Commonly used refrigerants, such as R404A, will become harder to obtain between now and 2020. The refrigerant is being phased down because of the new F-Gas legislation.
BRA President, Mike Lawrence, said:
“Our aim is to help people find an appropriate response to the F-gas legislation that has come from the EU. The PURR report highlights the very real challenges that clients in the sectors, such as retail refrigeration, will face as a result of F-Gas.”
From 2020, refrigerants with a global warming potential (GYP) of more than 2500 will not be allowed in new refrigeration equipment. In addition, high GWP refrigerants will be banned from use when servicing existing systems from 2020.
What will the impact of the ban be on supply of R404A?
Yet, R404A is widely used in retail refrigeration systems, and contractors will be able to use reclaimed R404A in their customers' systems. The supply of reclaimed R404A could be valuable to contractors who could either keep it for use for their customers, or sell their quota on the open market.
End users, such as supermarkets should look at their agreements with their refrigeration contractors to check that they will be able to keep reclaimed R404A in their remaining systems.
There are between 11,000 tonnes and 12,000 tonnes of R404A installed in the market today. Supermarkets use the largest volume of R404A. But, the biggest number of end users is the small retailers. End users need to think about what they would need to do if they either lost all of their R404A refrigerant from a major problem, or if they suffered a steady leakage from their refrigeration equipment.
As the ban's deadline approaches and the supply of R404A dwindles, it is likely that the price of R404A will increase massively. This could make it a very expensive challenge for end users if they have not made plans to update their refrigeration systems sooner.
Inevitably, retails business owners and leaders will be reluctant to spend money on updating their refrigeration systems if they don't understand the implications. However, contractors and the heads of engineering will need to help them understand why they need to spend the money to act upon the legislation.
The simplest way to persuade them is to tell the board that they will be breaking the law if they fail to comply with the F-Gas legislation. However, for that to be effective, directors need to see evidence that they could be taken to court for failing to comply.
Mike Lawrence added:
“The PURR report gives a clear indication of possible approaches to dealing with phase down, and the BRA hopes that this will support good practice.”