Refrigerant compliance includes calculating carbon emissions

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Courtesy of Verisae

If you manage a facility using a refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) system or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC-R) system, it’s time to comply with federal and state environmental laws regarding carbon emissions. To help reduce greenhouse gases, the law requires calculating carbon emissions. This means monitoring, collecting data and performing extensive reporting of CO2 sources. Refrigerant systems use high levels of greenhouse gases, so the EPA established the Climate Registry Protocol for calculating carbon emissions on a regular basis. The international equivalent of this requirement is outlined in the Montreal Protocol and Kyoto Protocol. The main purpose for calculating carbon emissions is to begin reducing the damaging effects that refrigerant gas has on the environment.

Commercial refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems operate on refrigerant gas, which is made up of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). When broken down, these substances contain carbon, chlorine, fluorine and hydrogen. These gases are major ozone depleting substances. By calculating carbon emissions, government environmental agencies will be able to better understand the situation. Companies who fail to report their carbon emissions will be issued a substantial fine.

Information about reducing greenhouse gases by calculating carbon emissions is contained in EPA, ISO, World Resource Institute and Climate Registry protocols. In summary, the mandatory regulations require facilities using refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to collect, organize, calculate and report carbon emissions.

Some volume of carbon is released into the environment by any company with a refrigerant system. Trying to determine how much carbon is emitted is an intricate process. Calculating carbon emissions begins by collecting data across the entire company and all its locations and identifying the gases. From there, a determination on how much of each gas is released must be made. Then various reports that include tracking methods need to be completed and submitted.

Refrigerant management programs can best handle the tedious process of calculating carbon emissions. With so many components involved, a computerized refrigerant management program is much more effective than manually handling and reviewing paper reports. A refrigerant management program that includes a Refrigerant Tracker and a Carbon Calculator was developed by Verisae to easily handle calculating carbon emissions for all AC/HVAC systems operated by a company.

There are several reasons that led to the EPA and international environmental agencies to require companies to include calculating carbon emissions in their reports. Most importantly is to identify the major sources of greenhouse gases. Equally important is to establish a tracking mechanism for determining how much harmful gases are released at any given time. The information will be used to improve air quality with measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

By calculating carbon emissions, companies will be able to recognize the extent of their carbon footprint. For companies with multiple locations using refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) systems or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the task becomes even more critical. But there is help to address this challenging issue. Software provided by Verisae tracks carbon dioxide gas emissions across all sites so companies can do their part to ensure a healthy environment for years to come.

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