Is refrigeration part of your business process and does your refrigeration system run on synthetic refrigerants? Then you will be affected by the so-called F-gas legislation which is new European regulations that focus on phasing out these refrigerants. These regulations prescribe to reduce synthetic refrigerants. In the Netherlands only, around one million industrial cooling installations use these refrigerants.
What are the rules for phasing out refrigerant R22 and what are the implications for you?
What are the rules for phasing out refrigerants R507 and R404A and what does this mean for you?
‘Double refrigeration capacity, lower energy costs’
This concerns the prohibition of refilling installations filled with an HFC with a GWP> 2,500 and among others, the frequently used refrigerants R404A and R507. Until January 1, 2030, replenishing is only permitted with reclaimed and/or regenerated refrigerant. From January 1, 2030, replenishing an installation with an HFC with a GWP> 2,500 is completely prohibited.
The production of F-gases is gradually being phased out from 100% in 2015 to 21% in 2030. Due to this production restriction, there have been considerable price increases. This makes the replenishment of installations with synthetic refrigerants considerably more expensive.
As of January 1, 2020, a ban applies for the construction of new installations filled with an HFC with a GWP > 2,500. This includes the refrigerants R404A and R507. As of January 1, 2022, a ban on new construction of commercial installations for refrigeration systems in retail and catering, filled with an HFC with a GWP > 150 applies.
Below is an overview of all refrigerants and their phasing-out.
Due to production limitation, there have been price increases of 60% per month. In addition to EU legislation, China announced price increases for the mineral fluorite, one of the components in the production of synthetic refrigerants, which further increased the price of synthetic refrigerants. This makes the replenishment of installations with synthetic refrigerants considerably more expensive. Moreover, the availability of these refrigerants is decreasing, resulting in even higher prices and shortages.
Although well-maintained installations can continue to operate well after 2020, you will need to replace them in the long term. You will certainly have to in the case of a leak. There are various options for timely adapting your company to the new laws and regulations:
Natural refrigerants are energy efficient and result in 25 to 40% less energy costs.
With the Energy Investment Allowance (EIA), in addition to your usual depreciation, you can deduct 45% (2019) of the investment costs from your taxable profit. On average, the EIA provides you with a 10% tax benefit.
In some industries, such as food, cooling with natural refrigerants helps to improve the quality of the refrigerated product. You can, therefore, benefit from more revenue and lower (processing) costs.
Cooling with natural refrigerants fits in with a sustainable production chain. Approximately 3% of the total electricity consumption in the Netherlands is used for cooling purposes. Natural refrigerants help to reduce this share.