MISSISSAUGA, Ontario - On June 1, Refrigerant Management Canada (RMC) increased its environmental levy on HCFCs by $1. This increased the levy rate from $1.50 to $2.50 per kilogram on HCFCs or HCFC blends sold in Canada.

Established by the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), RMC is an industry-led program committed to the responsible disposal of surplus ozone-depleting refrigerants from the stationary refrigeration and air conditioning industry. The program is funded by a voluntary environmental levy remitted by the industry on sales of new and reclaimed HCFCs and HCFC blends; it does not receive any government funding.

According to RMC, the $1 increase is in response to the 30 percent reduction in allowable HCFC import volumes that came into effect at the beginning of this year. The levy had been maintained at $1.50 per kilogram since Jan. 1, 2006; however, the 30 percent volume reduction of HCFCs will not allow the program to remain financially viable without an increase in the levy.

Federal and provincial regulations require that the refrigeration and air conditioning industry recover and dispose of all surplus refrigerants that are sold in the Canadian marketplace. According to April Gucciardo, manager of the RMC program, there has not been any backlash to the levy increase because “the industry understands without this program they would have to bear the costs themselves.”

Gucciardo also noted that the RMC is well-known and recognized for its success in Canada. She said that, by the end of this summer, RMC will have collected and destroyed 2 million kilograms of ozone-depleting refrigerants.

According to RMC, this levy increase is a short-term measure because the volumes of available HCFCs will continue to significantly decline over the next 10 years.

To fund the program into the future, RMC is pursuing other revenue streams. These include actively pursuing the carbon credit market to leverage the environmental benefits of the refrigerant destroyed into funding for the program and working with Environment Canada on a proposed federal stewardship regulation for all halocarbons that will effectively provide the opportunity to extend the levy to HFCs.

For more information, visit www.refrigerantmanagement.ca.

Publication date: 06/14/2010