ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a joint letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of changing the status of certain refrigerants used in liquid chillers under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program effective Jan. 1, 2025. The two groups took this action following lengthy discussions on the importance of moving beyond high-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants used in chillers and consideration of factors such as the safety of alternatives, the continued improvement of system efficiency, reasonable product development timelines, and the avoidance of market migration. The effective date was negotiated with those factors in mind.

The letter specifically calls for the removal of R-134a, R-410A, and R-407C from the list of acceptable substitutes in all new air-cooled and water-cooled chillers using centrifugal, screw, scroll, and all other compressor types as of Jan. 1, 2025. This proposal allows eight years from publication of the final rule for industry to finish designing and bringing to market chillers using alternative refrigerants.

“This is another example of industry and efficiency advocates working together toward environmental progress, while allowing sufficient time and predictability for manufacturers,” said Stephen Yurek, AHRI president and CEO. “We are grateful to the members of AHRI’s Liquid Chillers Product Section, who worked diligently to reach this agreement.”

The EPA is expected to decide in the coming months whether or not to accede to this consensus recommendation.

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Publication date: 2/4/2016

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