John Sheff is the Director of Public and Industry Affairs at Danfoss.
Host John Sheff provides an update on the status of the upcoming HFC phasedown and refrigerant transition. Issues addressed include building code updates and the potential for a shortfall in available HFCs.
- 2021 saw the implementation of the AIM Act Phasedown get underway in earnest. The U.S. EPA spent the year setting its Allocation Rule for producers and consumers of HFCs.
- These allocations were based on the three highest years of production between 2011 and 2019.
- The EPA only set the allocation process for 2022 and 2023.
- 2024 could present some issues and the EPA has agreed to revisit allocations when the time arrives.
- As of now, fewer than 10 states have either updated their building codes or passed legislation mandating they do so to allow for A2L refrigerants in advance of January 1st, 2025.
- The model building codes – the Uniform Mechanical Code and International Code Council – likely won’t be updated to incorporate ASHRAE 15.2 and UL 60335-2-40 and 2-89 until sometime in 2024. This means that by the time January 1st, 2025 arrives, it is very unlikely that all 50 states will have updated their building codes to allow for A2Ls.
- Thus, the EPA is scenario planning for various forms of uneven rollouts of sector-based controls depending on how many states are ready to adopt it.
- To further complicate matters, the AIM Act’s first large decrease in available supply of HFC refrigerant is set to occur on January 1st, 2024.
- This 40% drop in supply, combined with some percentage of states whose building codes do not allow for A2Ls, means a potential shortfall in available HFCs.
- This same scenario played itself out around the EU’s F-Gas regulations in 2017. Consequently, HFC prices spike nearly 1000% in a matter of months and did not ease until building codes we updated.
- Unlike the EU, however, the U.S. market is aware of this potential shortfall several years in advance. AHRI is working diligently with states to update building codes to allow for A2Ls and the EPA has agreed to revisit its HFC allocation process for 2024.
- And, most importantly, the industry as a whole is stepping up its efforts to maximize reclaimed HFC refrigerant.
- Hopefully, these efforts, when combined, will be enough to avoid the worst impacts of a HFC shortfall in 2024.
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