The whole of industry will need to take a leap of faith to move forward and adapt to the changing HVACR landscape.
This was the message delivered to participants at CCN Live's Trade Talk event by Australian Refrigeration Council CEO, Glenn Evans.
Referring to the need to upskill technicians in preparation for new low-GWP refrigerants, Evans said RAC is an evolving industry and everyone needs to be on board working together.
He said an immediate priority is upskilling the RAC workforce which is why ARC introduced the Green Accreditation Scheme which provides technician training in the use of new and emerging refrigerants and technologies.
“There are a lot of upskilling issues to consider from course development, which requires funding, to trainer availability,” Evans said.
"One problem is that training often follows the adoption of new technology, not the other way around, creating an uncertain environment.
"Upskilling is just the start, we need to give confidence to training providers to step into this space and that is what the Green Accreditation Scheme is all about."
Evans cited a trilogy of issues to address that are all inter-related and work together. They are training, licensing and a code of practice.
“Industry needs to step up and work on all three of these issues, they cannot just rely on government,” he said.
“The accreditation program is only a small part of this step forward, we can't forget the codes of practice. We really need to develop those.”
Participants were updated on the changing HVACR landscape by Patrick McInerney, the ozone protection and synthetic greenhouse gas policy director at the Department of Environment.
McInerney outlined Australia's new legislative framework and obligations under the Montreal Protocol.
Under the Kigali Agreement, the global phasedown of HFCs will reduce global emissions by 70 billion tonnes (CO2e) in period to 2050. He said the agreement is likely to be ratified by the end of the year.
It is a gradual phasedown achieving a 40 per cent reduction by 2024, 70 per cent by 2029, and an 85 per cent reduction by 2036.
McInerney said the two-year review of the Ozone Act led to more than 60 recommendations.
He said these amendments were passed in June 2017.
“Industry sought a gradual phasedown because it is easier to accommodate and provides investment certainty,” McInerney said.
“There is also a standards and training review to accommodate the new low GWP environment and to bring down hazard levels.
“Another recommendation is to improve equipment maintenance in a bid to increase energy efficiency and reduce leaks.
“More preventative maintenance by equipment owners will reduce business costs but we have to look at how we can do this.
“We are currently looking at a program or incentives to improve maintenance.”