Revision of EU F-Gas Regulation sparks debate
The European Parliament’s recent tougher proposals on heat pumps and air conditioners have provoked many reactions.
The legislative process to revise EU Regulation No 517/2014 ("F-gas” Regulation) is ongoing.
- Released in April 2022, the initial proposal of the European Commission (see our previous post) included a ban on the use of HFCs with a GWP of 150 or more in new split system air conditioners and heat pumps of a rated capacity of up to and including 12kW or less from January 1, 2027. The proposal also included a ban on the use of HFCs with a GWP of 750 or more in new split systems with capacities above 12kW from the same date.(1)
- On October 10, 2022, Bas Eickhout, Rapporteur for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, which is in charge of drafting the European Parliament’s position on the F-gas Regulation, called for even stricter measures (2). Among them, from January 1, 2027, a ban on fluorinated gases (both HFCs and HFOs) in new split air conditioners and heat pumps with a rated capacity of up to and including 12kW, but also in split systems above 200kW. B. Eickhout argues that “given the recent adoption of standard IEC-60335-2-40, the proposed ban in split systems up to 12kW can be met with propane. In specific cases where this is not possible, the safety exception allows for some flexibility. In split systems above 200 kW, ammonia and CO2 are available alternatives”. A stricter HFC phase down schedule than that planned by the European Commission has also been proposed. (3)
- In November 2022, in a joint statement signed by the European contractors group AREA and manufacturing associations such as ASERCOM, EPEE, EHPA and Eurovent, the latter insisted that they shared the EU’s Green Deal ambition to accelerate the transition towards climate neutrality by 2050, but specified that to achieve that goal, a “careful balance” was needed between reducing emissions from HFCs and reducing emissions by installing more heat pumps (4). Previously, at a meeting at the European Parliament, EPEE’s director general Folker Franz had stressed that moving to fully natural refrigerant heat pumps as early as 2027 was “impossible”.
The final position of the European Parliament as well as that of the European Council will constitute the next steps in this review process.