R22 phase out
Under European Union Ozone regulations, from January 2010 the use of virgin R22 refrigerant was banned. The use of recycled R22 is still permissible for maintenance purposes until the end of 2014.
How will this affect your business?
There is no guarantee on the quality and availability of R22 refrigerant and industry experts are predicting stocks of recycled R22 to be depleted well before 2014, which will inevitably result in a steep increase in the cost of the available refrigerant.
Equipment using R22, whilst efficient at the time of installation, uses considerably more energy than the latest refrigeration and air conditioning plant that utilises non- HCFC refrigerants, such as R410a and R407c, in some cases this can be more than a 50% reduction. If you own refrigeration or air conditioning equipment operating on R22 refrigerant, we would strongly advise that you look at your options before the phase out complete in order to minimise impact on your organisation both operationally and financially.
Many R-22 units are now reasonably old and replacement through phase out is often the best way forward. The good news is that new systems using the latest inverter technologies are likely to have a significantly greater cooling capability (up to 15%) and to use far less electricity (on average approx. 50%). The payback period and the opportunity to make significant CO2 reductions can add up to a big incentive to invest. Adding to that incentive is the Government’s Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme, which could allow accelerated tax relief on certain new equipment. See our ECA page for more info.
Refit or retrofit using alternative refrigerant is another option but this depends on the type age and condition of equipment. In some cases “replacement technology” means it is possible to adapt systems to use legally permitted HFC’s. System efficiency and reliability needs to be considered and only qualified engineers can under take this work.