The Cold Hard Facts 2020 report presents the main figures of refrigeration in Australia

Cold Hard Facts 2020 analyses 2019 data to identify key developments and emerging trends in the refrigeration and air conditioning industry. 

Cold Hard Facts 2020 is the fifth in a series of reports investigating the scale and impact of the cooling economy in Australia. 

The report is available in FRIDOC or by following this link


The share of refrigeration in the Australian economy 

The report states that direct spending on hardware, consumables and energy, plus employment in the sector, is estimated at around 2.1% of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. 



There has been a significant slowdown in the use of refrigerants in Australia, from a 4.3 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2006 and 2016 to only 1.8 per cent over the past three years (2016 to 2019). 

This slower growth has been driven by a softening of refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) equipment sales in 2018 and 2019 on almost all major equipment segments. 

According to the report, “Trends observed in 2016 and 2018 of growth in the adoption of natural refrigerants and hydrofluoro‑olefin/HFC (HFO/HFC) blends have been confirmed in 2019 with hydrocarbon charges smaller than 150 grams in refrigerated display cabinets being a stand-out example of the rapid rate of change in the sector.” 

The report also revealed that HFO/HFC blends are beginning to be used in larger commercial refrigeration furniture with charges up to 3 kg. 

HFO-1234yf is beginning to contribute to the phase-out of HFC-134a in the automotive mobile air conditioning (MAC), however change is still slow with an estimate of less than five per cent of the 945,000 new vehicles imported into Australia in 2019 containing HFOs, the report said. 


Refrigeration equipment 

The report states that “Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) services in Australia in 2019 were delivered by more than 57.2 million pieces of equipment (Cold hard Facts 3, in 2016, stated 53.6 million pieces of equipment) using more than 53,000 tonnes of refrigerants. 


“The stock model calculated that in 2019 Australians spent around USD 8.3 billion purchasing and installing new devices across all classes of RAC equipment.” 


Energy consumption 

This equipment is estimated to have consumed more than 64.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity in 2019, or more than 24 per cent of all electricity produced in Australia that year.