Europe Regulation Schedules Banning of F-Gases in Appliances
May 9, 2014
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New refrigerator and air-conditioner use of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) is now scheduled for phase-out in Europe under a regulation just adopted by the Council of the European Union. The regulation is intended to facilitate reduction of F-gas emissions in the EU by two-thirds of current (2014) levels by 2030.

Use of F-gases in some new equipment, like cold appliances and air-conditioners, will be banned where viable and where more climate-friendly alternatives are readily available.

The Council said that, in addition to helping achieve EU climate and environmental objectives, the regulation will also create business opportunities for EU companies on the market for alternative technologies.

The regulation establishes rules regarding containment, use, recovery, and destruction of those gases. In addition, the new law imposes conditions on the placing on the market of products and equipment containing or relying on F-gases. It also sets out quantitative limits for placing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) on the market.

The regulation also bans the placing on the market of the following products:
• Domestic refrigerators and freezers containing HFCs with a global warming potential (GWP) of 150 or more, effective January 1 2015
• Refrigerators and freezers for commercial use containing HFCs with a GWP of 2500 or more, effective January 1, 2020.
• Refrigerators and freezers for commercial use containing HFCs with a GWP of 150, effective January 1, 2022.
• Stationary refrigeration equipment containing, or relying on, HFCs with a GWP of 2500 or more, effective January 1, 2020.
• Centralized refrigeration systems for commercial use with a capacity of 40kW or more that contain or rely on fluorinated gases with a GWP of 150 or more, effective January 1, 2022.
• Movable room air-conditioning appliances containing HFCs with GWP of 150 or more, effective January 1, 2020.
• Single split air-conditioning systems containing less than 3 kg of F-gases that contain F-gases with a GWP of 750 or more, Effective January 1, 2025.
• Extruded polystyrene foams that contain HFCs with a GWP of 150 or more, effective January 1, 2020.
• Other foams that contain HFCs with a GWP of 150 or more, effective January 1, 2023.
• Technical aerosols that contain HFCs with a GWP of 150 or more, effective January 1, 2018.

The regulation introduces a phase-down mechanism involving a gradually declining cap on the total placement of bulk HFCs (in tonnes of CO2 equivalent) on the market in the EU with a freeze in 2015, followed by a first reduction in 2016-2017 and reaching 21% of the levels sold in 2009-12 by 2030.

The Regulation becomes effective on January 1, 2015.

The entire regulation can be accessed online at:
http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=PE%201%202014%20INIT.

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