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Energy Efficiency in HFC-free Supermarket Refrigeration

Commercial refrigeration is estimated to globally produce annual GHG emissions in the range of 1-1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, out of which direct emissions (from the refrigerant) range between 0.35- 0.46 GtCO 2 e and indirect emissions (those associated with electricity use) range between 0.65-0.85 GtCO 2 e. It is therefore clear that tackling the climate impact of refrigerants must be coupled with addressing energy efficiency and energy sources of refrigeration systems.

Given the relatively long lifespan of cooling systems in supermarkets, decisions being made now will impact the climate (and the bottom line for end users) for decades to come. To reap the highest rewards from investment in HFC-free technology, a rigorous integrated approach to equipment design and selection considering the entire needs of the store should be taken. This briefing is based on a review of technical options for energy efficient HFC-free commercial refrigeration undertaken by shecco. Food retailers should use the opportunity of the global HFC phase-down to simultaneously improve the energy efficiency of their refrigeration systems.

Members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) are key stakeholders in ensuring market demand for energy efficient HFC-free technology, encouraging development of new technology and system controls, sharing case studies and maintaining pressure on industry and policymakers to ensure the success of the HFC phase-down. Decisions concerning refrigeration systems must take into account the total life cycle cost (not just the initial upfront cost) and the full environmental impact. Making the right choices in terms of refrigerant, system design and maintenance practices will reap significant economic and environmental benefits in the future.

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