Along with the commencement of the carbon price on 1 July, a carbon equivalent price will be imposed on imports of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) refrigerant gases that are ozone safe but are powerful greenhouse gases.
The HFC Levy will cause dramatic increases in the costs of HFC refrigerants: as much as a tripling in price depending on the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of particular species of HFC. Refrigeration and air-conditioning industry associations have raised concerns and called for Government consultation.
“The purpose of the levy is to give the industry a price incentive to reduce HFC refrigerant leakage and to adopt low GWP technologies,” said Tim Edwards, President of the Australian Refrigeration Association.
“The refrigeration and air conditioning industry needs to look beyond the short term concerns to see the immediate and longer term benefits of the levy. The ARA is confident that the levy will cause growth in the HVACR industry for those that embrace the opportunity,” Mr Edwards explains.
“By investing in reduced HFC leakage the industry has the opportunity to reduce the cost of HFC use – a matter of considerable concern to users of HFC based technologies.
“By considering low GWP refrigerant technologies the industry has the opportunity to supply more energy efficient HVACR solutions. Both of these will generate greater revenue and employment in the industry for those suppliers that see the commercial opportunity in the HFC levy; perhaps as much as 5 to 7% incremental growth per annum over the next ten years,” Mr Edwards said
“Change is always threatening. But it is well known that HFC leakage can be better managed. It is well known that more energy efficient and future-proof low GWP technologies have been shown to be available and effective in refrigeration and air conditioning.
“These solutions have been proven worldwide and are available in Australia. Large multinational organisations like Unilever, Coca Cola and Woolworths have recognised and committed to reduce their emissions by adopting low GWP HVACR solutions.
“Large suppliers like Bitzer, Mayekawa, Danfoss, Emerson, GEA and Johnston Controls have been preparing for the need to supply low GWP technologies for some time.
“The HFC levy simply encourages the industry at large in Australia to embrace the opportunity to transition to a low emissions industry,” said Mr Edwards.
“It is generally recognised that the HVACR industry will contribute about $190 M PA to carbon tax revenues via the HFC levy; a significant impost on the clients of the HVACR industry. There will be stresses as the new economic structure of the industry develops and evolves.
“However, this is a small part of total revenues that will be raised by government via the carbon tax.
“These funds are available to be returned to the industry and its clients by way of the range of funding programs made available under the Clean Energy Future legislation such as the Clean Technology Investment program, the Clean Technology Innovation program, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and many other related sources of funding.
“There is certainly a need for the HVACR industry to work with Government to make full use of the Clean Energy Futures legislation,” Mr Edwards said.
“We have known for some time that the industry is responsible for a high level of both direct refrigerant emissions and indirect emissions from power consumption.
“We have known for some time that a levy on HFCs would be part of the CEF legislation.
“What we haven’t done is engaged with the Government as a united industry with a united view on how the HFC levy can be implemented effectively and efficiently.
“There is a need to work with Government to establish new standards and licensing programs and to establish ongoing, dramatically larger education and training capabilities, funded by CEF, to support the transition.
“These are exciting times for the industry. Those who recognise the opportunity will prosper in a low carbon future,” Mr Edwards concluded.
For further information, contact:
Tim Edwards, ARA President
Phone: 02 48615355 Mobile: 0405 324 834
Note to editors:
Australian Refrigeration Association is a recently established non-profit association comprised of people and organisations that support our objectives particularly from a design, engineering and operating point of view. We aim to build a significant membership in all RAC functions. We will deliver solutions and assistance relevant to all participants in the RAC supply chain including design& assessment, training, commercialisation, installation, operation & maintenance, and disposal.
The purpose of the organisation is to advance the science and practice of refrigeration; in the national interest, in all of its applications, in the development of its methods and technology, and in its uses in the community.