According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 10,804,918 pounds of ozone-depleting refrigerant was reported as reclaimed by EPA-certified reclaimers in 2016. That total includes 9,409,494 pounds of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-22 or R-22.
Arkema is widely seen as wearing the black hat in the refrigeration industry right now, thanks to the lawsuit in which it and Mexichem Fluor petitioned a U.S. court of appeals to review the EPA’s 2015 rule in which HFCs were targeted under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act.
Converting residential air conditioning equipment that uses R-22 to a replacement refrigerant is seen by many contractors and homeowners as a good way to extend the life of the system while removing R-22 from the picture. There are a number of replacement refrigerants to choose from, but with any replacement, it’s important to remember that the refrigerant is only half of the equation.
Both the commercial and residential geothermal markets have felt the sting of the loss of federal tax credits for geothermal projects, but contractors on the commercial side remain reasonably upbeat about their market’s outlook.
It’s not unusual for one to wake up with a headache on Jan. 1, but the headache that greeted the geothermal industry on Jan. 1, 2017, wasn’t caused by excessive late-night celebration. On that date, geothermal systems lost their 10 percent investment tax credit under Section 48 of the Internal Revenue Code (which covers energy tax credits).
While geothermal heat pumps may initially seem complicated to service or troubleshoot for some technicians, with the right training, they will find that these systems are similar to conventional air-source heat pumps.
It is said that every story has two sides, and two recent conversations I had with estimable members of the refrigeration industry vividly illustrated that. Both of these gentlemen have been involved in the industry for a long time -- one on the supplier side and one on the contracting side. The topic of both conversations was the ruling by a United States court of appeals that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot ban the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act. The topic was the same, but the conversations were very different.
Energy Star calculates that, on average, supermarkets in the U.S. use around 50 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 50 cubic feet of natural gas per square foot per year — an average annual energy cost of more than $4 per square foot.