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New F-gas rules a significant burden

BELGIUM: The European Heat Pump Association (EHPA) has described today’s F-gas revision deal as creating a significant burden for industry in the short term.

Referring to the new agreed rules, which are thought to include a ban on F-gases in some heat pumps and air conditioners from as early as 2027, the EHPA said: “The industry is already ramping up production in line with EU goals, and now is tasked with changing most of its production lines in parallel.” 

The EHPA accepts that while the agreement will make heat pumps even cleaner, it does little to speed up the move away from fossil fuels in heating and cooling. “Potentially it could even slow it down, by making it more difficult to roll out heat pumps for various application fields in residential, commercial and industry,” the group said.  

“Every heat pump replaces a fossil fuel boiler, cutting carbon emissions. If there are not enough heat pumps, consumers will choose fossil heating instead,” stated Alessia Del Vasto, the EHPA’s policy officer. “To avoid a shortage of heat pumps, the EU needs to give the sector clear financial and policy support to finalise the shift to non-fluorinated refrigerants that is already underway”. 

While the EHPA accepts that the 2027 F-gas bans are not impossible to achieve, it insists that this will require “unambiguous support” by policy makers for R&D, installer training, and an upgrade of production facilities to safely handle the flammable refrigerants that will replace some fluorinated refrigerants. 

“It also requires changes to rules covering how heating and cooling equipment can safely be used in buildings and industry, and awareness campaigns directed at citizens and consumers,” the EHPA said. 

The EHPA again calls for a correction in what it calls “the distorted energy pricing” that favours gas. “In EHPA’s view, electricity should be no more than twice the price of gas per kWh. Governments should apply lowest possible taxation rates on electricity and put in place lower VAT and tax breaks on heat pumps,” it said.

Related stories:

Europe agrees F-gas deal5 October 2023
EUROPE: The European Parliament and Council has reached a provisional deal which will see specific bans on the use of HFCs and HFOs and a complete phase out of F-gases by 2050. Read more…

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