UK: With a complete ban on the use of R22 a little over a year away, its replacement is still a major concern for end-users.
A survey by Star Refrigeration amongst end-users at its recent series of UK roadshows revealed that for 16% it was still the prime concern. The storage and distribution sector was the most affected with over a third stating that R22 phase-out was its major worry. For the rest, the most important issues of concern was coping with the energy efficiency challenge (26%) and the cost of plant operation (18%). A leading food manufacturer is reported as commenting: “Were using an old R22 plant. One or two systems have been slightly upgraded, but we’ve got another ten that are still working on the old plant.” The results showed that each end-user sector has different concerns. 80% of the building services market agreed their main focus is on becoming more energy efficient. The food industry was divided on the issues that affect their business most, however the reliability of their systems came out on top as the most problematic area at 43%. Cost is still an important factor in all buying decisions, with 34% taking it into account when comparing solutions. However, total life-cycle costs, performance/quality, energy efficiency and reliability were important for 49% of attendees. The full report is available for download at http://www.starrs2013.com.