HVAC News Roundup – June 2020
Thanks for joining our commercial HVAC news roundup for June 2020.
A lot has happened in this month, including a new proposed EPA SNAP rule on A2L refrigerants; world refrigeration day celebrations; and several other policy and compliance developments.
Let’s get started. #HVACNewsRoundup.
EPA Publishes Proposed Rule on A2L Refrigerants
On June 12, 2020, the EPA published a new proposed EPA SNAP rule, Rule 23, that expands the list of substitutes for the refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors.
Under the proposed EPA SNAP Rule 23, a number of refrigerants would be listed as acceptable alternatives, with use conditions and acceptable alternatives, with narrowed use limits.
Here’s a brief overview of the proposed rule-making, what is possible to come, and the deadline for making a comment:
Acceptable Alternatives, With Use Conditions
- For new residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps, the following substitutes would be listed as acceptable subject to use conditions: R-452B, R-454A, R-454B, R-454C, R-457A.
- For new residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps (excluding self-contained room air conditioners), R-32 would be listed as acceptable, subject to use conditions.
To understand the specific use conditions proposed for these various refrigerant substitutes, see the Proposed Rule.
Acceptable Alternatives, With Narrowed Use Limits
- For new medium-temperature stand-alone units in retail food refrigeration, R-448A, R-449A, and R-449B would be acceptable subject to narrowed use limits.
- That is, the EPA explains that these substitutes would only acceptable “where reasonable efforts have been made to ascertain that other alternatives are not technically feasible due to the inability to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.”
You can read the proposed rule-making in full here, and comments on it must be received on or before July 27.
RAC and Heat Pump Industry Celebrates World Refrigeration Day
On June 26, 2020, the refrigeration, air conditioning (RAC) and heat pump industry celebrated the second annual World Refrigeration Day.
Part of the celebrations included a joint campaign—COLD CHAIN 4 LIFE—by the World Refrigeration Day, the WRD Secretariat, ASHRAE, European Partnership for Energy and Environment (EPEE), the International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR), UNEP OzonAction, and the Global Food Cold Chain Council (GFCCC) to highlight the importance of the cold chain and its role in food safety, security, and human health.
World Refrigeration Day has quickly become an important element in the industry. Numerous celebrations were held by a variety of stakeholders. Trakref even launched its Billion Ton Challenge on the Day.
Trakref Launches Billion Ton Challenge
Trakref celebrated #WREFD20 by launching the Billion Ton Challenge. Since the Montreal Protocol was finalized in 1987, refrigerant leaks have not reduced; rather, they have grown.
In fact, right now, in the U.S., more than two billion pounds of refrigerant are installed in systems everywhere. And, in the next four years alone in this country, we are going to leak 2.4 billion pounds of refrigerant.
As a result, the refrigerant geeks here at Trakref decided that we needed a new way to achieve lasting and significant reductions in refrigerant usage.
Thus, the Billion Ton Challenge.
When you join the Billion Ton Challenge , you gain access to
- Our free refrigerant tracking app, Trakref Pro; and
- Exclusive HVAC/R compliance training.
Sign-up for the challenge now.
(Share the square feet you are tracking!)
The #BillionTonChallenge is a campign to help stop the billions of tons of refrigerants that are being and/or will be leaked into our atmosphere. Share your efforts and spread the word by using the hashtag #BillionTonChallenge.
HVAC Systems and COVID-19
Discussions on HVAC systems and COVID-19 continue. In fact, numerous new HVAC management strategies are being recommended, including as it relates to filtration, ventilation, temperature, and humidity control. More details on our blog here.
Indeed, using higher rated filters is being scrutinized. One but example is the fact that, on June 30, 2020, the Governor of New York mandated high efficiency filters in shopping malls, sparking more debate around the issue. Undoubtedly, more details will emerge on and around this issue.
As such, we will continue to monitor the unfolding situation on HVAC systems and COVID-19. While many things are still uncertain, it is nonetheless important to ensure that you are properly tracking your HVAC/R and refrigerant assets at this time.
HVAC/R and Refrigerant Management News Across the Globe
As you can see, a lot has happened this month when you consider all the stories above. Here’s a few other things that caught our eye:
Trakref client, Grocery Outlet, had three members of its leadership team featured in Progressive Grocer’s 2020 Top Women in Grocery
One of our clients, Grocery Outlet, had three members of its leadership team featured in Progressive Grocer’s 2020 Top Women in Grocery.
We were thrilled to learn of this news, and we just wanted to send a personal gratulations from everyone here at Trakref!
New future look and feel of Trakref
Have you heard? After countless hours gathering stakeholder input and conducting client interviews, our refrigerant geeks are architecting the future look and feel of Trakref.
Company Fined for Importing R-22
The import of new R-22 was phased out on January 1, 2020, for non-article 5 countries. The Cooling Post reported on June 15, 2020, that a company in Australia was fined AUS$12,600 for importing R-22 “without a controlled substances license.”
This story is an important reminder to manage R-22 properly. In fact, if your building portfolio has systems with R-22, we recommend that you exercise caution. For further advice, feel free to speak with one of our refrigerant geeks for a free 15-minute consultation.
China Prepares for HFC Phase Down
China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) has indicated that it may expand the scope of its regulation on the management of ozone-depleting substances and now include hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Not Signing Kigali Characterized As A Neglected Business Opportunity
The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) featured a column entitled “A Neglected Business Opportunity to Save the Planet,” which analyzes the importance of the Kigali Amendment and explains how the U.S. signing it would enable new business opportunities.
Well, that concludes the commercial HVAC News Round for June 2020. As always, thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in next month for the latest commercial HVAC News Roundup.
p.s., Did you enjoy this post? Let us know your thoughts. Leave a comment below, or joint conversation on social by using the hashtag #HVACNewsRoundup.
With an extensive background in HVAC/R public affairs and communications, Elizabeth Ortlieb serves as the Content Strategist & Policy Analyst for Trakref, where she tracks policy trends and provides updates to multi-level stakeholders. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org