BELGIUM, Brussels. Four leading associations in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) sector – EPEE, AREA, Asercom and EFCTC – have joined forces in an unprecedented effort to call upon European installers to stop using high global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants in the equipment they install, in particular R-404A and R-507A.
To this end, the associations have developed a leaflet for installers highlighting the key actions needed to tackle the difficult market situation created by high hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) prices and low availability. The leaflet urges installers to stop using R-404A and R-507A in new equipment, retrofit existing equipment with lower GWP refrigerants, reduce leakages and charge sizes, and recover, recycle and reclaim refrigerants.
“The fact that four industry associations representing different parts of the HVACR sector – installers, OEMs, compressor manufacturers and gas producers – worked together on this leaflet is in itself a very strong message and will hopefully trigger the much-needed acceleration of the “phase-out” of R404A and R507A,” Andrea Voigt, EPEE Director General said.
The 2015 F-gas Regulation introduced an HFC phase-down system, a completely new mechanism to ensure emission reductions through a gradual decrease in the consumption of HFCs. With a very steep phase-down reduction in 2018 and additional measures controlling and limiting the use of HFCs coming into force in 2020, the EU HFC market is in turmoil – refrigerant prices have reached record highs and availability is very limited. When undertaking a market survey as part of its Gapometer project, EPEE found that one of the main causes for this market situation is that action to stop using high GWP refrigerants like R404A and R507A has been far too slow.
The four associations will continue their collaboration to ensure that the leaflet they produced will reach contractors throughout Europe, in their local languages.