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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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Recent Blog Posts

Can I be HFC-free? A Quest for Climate-friendly Cooling
08/10/2020
Supermarkets in particular have enormous refrigeration systems that extend past the display cases to back room chillers, refrigerated trucks, cold warehouses and so on. With such large systems, supermarkets are among the largest corporate offenders of HFC use, with thousands of tons of these chemicals throughout their cold chain. Yet out of nearly 40,000 supermarkets in the U.S., barely 1% are known to have transitioned to HFC-free systems; our Supermarket Scorecard shows that action and change throughout the industry is needed. These large companies have a greater climate footprint than you or me, and thus a greater responsibility to transition to climate-friendly alternatives.
Finding the Promise in Compromise: EIA Proposal to Jumpstart California HFC Reclaim
07/27/2020
Last week EIA participated in California’s Air Resources Board (ARB) 6th workshop on proposed regulations to reduce emissions of super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling. The state’s rigorous process for proposing new regulations on HFC refrigerants has been ongoing for several years now and is in the final stretch. Opportunities for stakeholder engagement have been abundant and ARB has invited input from industry along the way. They even aligned with an industry proposed 2023 deadline for transitioning new air conditioning equipment to refrigerants with a global warming potential (GWP) less than 750.

Recent Reports

EIA Comments to OEWG-42
07/02/2020
EIA Comments to the 42nd Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG-42) TEAP Replenishment Task Force Report .
EIA Comments on ASHRAE-15 Standards Proposal
03/25/2020
EIA comments on a proposed revision to a major U.S. safety standards, ASHRAE-15, calling for important revisions.

Recent Press Releases

Unlocking Kigali Amendment Climate Benefits
08/17/2020
A new safety standard proposed by an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) working group is vital to maximizing emission reductions from a global phase-down of super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard
06/25/2020
Today, EIA launched the Climate-friendly Supermarket Scorecard assessing the largest U.S. supermarkets on actions and commitments to reduce hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) - potent greenhouse gases used in cooling.
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
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