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EU cooling industry wants more ambitious F-Gas Regulation, study shows

Research shows widespread market support for more sectoral F-Gas bans, an accelerated F-Gas phase down and a switch to natural refrigerants, shecco says

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 17 November 2020: A new market study by shecco has found that the EU’s cooling industry supports a more ambitious F-Gas Regulation, with more sectoral F-Gas bans, an accelerated F-Gas phase down and greater readiness to switch to natural refrigerants.

The study, titled ‘F-Gas Regulation Revision: Industry Wants More Ambition’, is based on a detailed, extensive effort to collect feedback from EU HVAC&R stakeholders to inform the revision of the current European Union (EU) F-Gas Regulation that is now underway.

According to shecco, the study reached out to top-level industry professionals, including engineers, contractors, manufacturers, academic institutions and end user, among others active in the EU HVAC&R sector. shecco said it collected information on the opportunities and challenges related to taking a more ambitious stand in the new F-Gas Regulation revision.

The 12 sub-sectors covered in the study include commercial refrigeration (multipack centralised systems and condensing units), transport refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, single-split air conditioning systems, multi-split/VRF systems, rooftop HVAC systems, chillers (displacement), centrifugal chillers, domestic heat pumps, commercial heat pumps, industrial heat pumps, and mobile air conditioning for buses and/or trains.

According to shecco, the results of the study can be found in this report (

“The findings were overwhelmingly positive, showing a large number of companies are ready to push forward on stricter sectoral bans to make up for the time lost by not being ambitious enough in the previous F-Gas Regulation revision,” said Ilana Koegelenberg, Market Development Manager at shecco and lead author of the report. “We hope that these results will give confidence to the European Commission that the European HVAC&R industry is ambitious and wants further progress in this direction to help play an active role in making Europe climate neutral by 2050.”

According to shecco, the study found that 87% of participants believe that “increasing the ambition of the F-Gas Regulation through further bans, a more ambitious phase down and strong measures to combat illegal trade should be an essential component of the EU’s 2030 climate ambition strategy”.

In addition, shecco said, 77% of respondents were in favour of an accelerated phase-down schedule, given the current state of development of natural-refrigerant alternative technologies.

The study also showed overwhelming support for more ambitious sectoral bans for sub-sectors already mentioned in the F-Gas Regulation, as well as for the introduction of bans for sub-sectors previously not included, shecco said.

The majority of responses indicated readiness of the HVAC&R industry to switch over completely to natural refrigerants, shecco said. In 12 out of the 12 sub-sectors reviewed, the majority of survey respondents indicated support of a full ban on new HFC-based products by 2024, shecco said. Natural refrigerants were also shown to be the refrigerant of choice in 11 of the 12 sub-sectors surveyed, shecco added.

According to shecco, the survey results highlighted how a lack of sectoral bans (or a lack of more ambitious sectoral bans) has had a negative impact on the sector’s ability to develop alternative, climate-friendly solutions. The majority of respondents also said the lack of bans negatively impacted the uptake of these alternative solutions, as well as their price competitiveness, shecco said.

The study includes input from 125 individuals at more than 80 companies active in the EU. It is important to note that the study was open to the entire industry, not just companies working with natural refrigerants, shecco pointed out. Input was collected predominantly from personal correspondence with stakeholders, as well as a comprehensive industry survey that featured more than 160 questions.

This survey, co-funded by shecco and The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), was shared globally through various marketing campaigns and social media outreach activities to ensure equal opportunity to participate. Input was accepted from around the world, with the only limitation being that the company should be actively doing business in the EU, shecco said.

The report dives into the details of the current F-Gas Regulation to highlight how it can be strengthened to close loopholes to the advantage of the industry, the economy and the climate as a whole. To that end, it covers topics such as training, incentive schemes, illegal trade and reclamation.

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