Newsletter

EU F-Gas phase down

Posted on

EU F-Gas phase down

Following on from the R22 F-Gas ban, between 2015 and 2030, the EU has set out the above timeline for phasing down the use of the most harmful F-Gases.

The F-Gases being phased down are HFCs. Whilst HFCs don’t damage the ozone layer, they do contribute to global warming – a topical global news item after the recent Paris Agreement. As a result, the EU has grouped these HFC F-Gases by their global warming potential (GWP) – as shown in the table below – with the F-Gases with the highest GWP being the first to go. Initially the service ban date will apply to the use of virgin gases, however a complete service ban will follow, 10 years hence.

What does this mean for me?
With dates now firmly set and cards firmly marked, F-Gases in the very high GWP group will become more, scarce, increase in price and as a result, prove more difficult to source and locate spare unit parts.

With it not being wise to install new systems with F-Gases in the very high GWP group or carry out substantial modifications, it is advisable to choose a gas in consultation with the table below and your F-Gas trained service engineer.

Accelerated Capital Allowances (ACAs) can help meet the cost of new equipment, should it be desired. The scheme operates by writing-off up to 100% of the cost of energy efficient equipment, before calculating tax on profits. Normally, this cost would be written-off over an eight-year period, resulting in a much poorer saving.

Affected equipment
Some of the equipment affected by this phase down include: air conditioning, chillers, refrigeration plant and medical devices.

Future F-Gas ban dates

GWP Group GWP Range Refrigerant Service ban date (virgin)
Very high 3,985 HFC R507 January 2020 *
3,922 HFC R404A January 2020 *
3,245 HFC R434A January 2020 *
2,725 HFC R422D January 2020 *
High 2,346 HFC R417A January 2022
2,107 HFC R407A January 2022
2,088 HFC R410A January 2022
1,825 HFC R407F January 2022
1,774 HFC R407C January 2022
1,430 HFC R134A No ban i.e. < 1,500 GWP
Moderate 675 R32 (HFO blends) No ban
Low 200 to 10 None in common use No ban
Ultra-low 5 HC R600A (isobutane) No ban
5 HC R290 (propane) No ban
1 R744 CO2 (carbon dioxide) No ban
0 R717 (ammonia) No ban

* Only applies to systems of 40 tonnes of CO2 equivalent or greater

Enforcement

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforce EU F-Gas laws in Ireland. The EPA is an independent public body with the power to issue fines not exceeding € 12,697,380 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or, at the discretion of the courts – for F-Gases regulation breaches under the EPA Act (1992).

EU F-Gas phase down explained in full

Summary of other recent changes to F-Gas regulations

  • When a leakage is detected, it is now an obligation to have it repaired without undue delay, as opposed to when it was “technically feasible” under previous regulations;
  • Contractors are now obliged to keep records for 5 years (along with users);
  • Additional information will be required on F-Gas equipment labels from 2017 including the GWP rating of the F-Gas contained.

Talk to Thermodial about the EU F-Gas phase down and the impact on your F-Gas equipment »