A Switch in Time could prevent a reduction in the performance of your refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, thereby saving you thousands of pounds.
You will probably be aware that the recently updated EU Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Regulations places obligations on Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) equipment owners in terms of the phasing out of HCFC’s (including R22). There are associated requirements from the F-Gas Regulations for leak checking, record keeping and labelling.
The Phase Out Dates Remained Unchanged:
- From 1st January 2010 it became illegal to use virgin HCFCs to service Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) equipment. This ban applies even if HCFC was purchased before the ban date. It also became illegal to stockpile and use any supplies of virgin HCFCs after the end of 2009
- From 1st January 2015 it became illegal to use recycled or reclaimed HCFCs to service RAC equipment
It is not too late to assess your business’s dependence on HCFC refrigerants with a view to developing options for the economic replacement of these refrigerants and/or the replacement or refurbishment of outmoded refrigeration plant.
Enforcement and Penalties:
If you have industrial facilities covered by environmental or IPPC permits the Environment Agency will be the Regulators for the ODS and F Gas Regulations. Councils will be the regulators for other onshore sites and for all commercial and retail businesses.
The environment protection regulators have a number of options to ensure compliance, including:
- Providing targeted advice to secure compliance
- Serving an “enforcement notice” specifying the necessary steps and deadlines
- Serving a “prohibition notice” whereby a specific plant item or the whole facility could be shut down.
What are your Options:
Five main options are available:
- Replace existing equipment with a completely new system
- Retain existing equipment but use an alternative non ozone depleting refrigerant. Retrofit refrigerants are readily available for direct replacement but modifications may be needed e.g:- Retrofit HFC options e.g. R134a, R404A, R407C, R507 will probably require a lubricant change from mineral oil to synthetic oil (HFC blends may avoid this change)- Other refrigerants are available but may require component changes. Note that it is not possible to retrofit existing systems with CO2, Ammonia, Hydrocarbons and 410A
- In conjunction with the above, it may be possible to recover R22 for recycling for use in remaining systems
- A planned mix of all the above options i.e. part new/ part refurbishment
- Do nothing – this is a very risky option. It became illegal to stockpile virgin HCFCs for use after 1st Jan 2010. Those doing nothing will have to depend on obtaining supplies of reclaimed/recycled HCFC gases including R22.
Benefits for all:
By implementing a phased programme you can:
- Avoid the costly repair of obsolete equipment
- Minimise the cost of maintaining your limited life equipment
- Prevent paying inflated prices for depleting refrigerant supplies.
Why use PM PROjEN:
The main benefits of using PROjEN as independent advisors is our ability to:
- Ensure compliance with EU legislation
- Identify the most appropriate options which are both cost and time effective
- Effectively manage any necessary transition
- Safe disposal of R22 refrigerant
- Manage the modification of existing plant/the installation of new plant if required
- Ensure minimal disruption to ongoing operations.