The HVACR industry has grown exponentially for the past 60 years. It has become pervasive and fundamental to the quality of life. However, it has also developed on the basis of technologies that are not energy efficient. Energy was cheap. It has been treated as a necessary low cost input to gain temperature control. This is no longer the case. Electricity prices have increased by 50% to 70% (depending on location and base year) over the last five years making energy efficiency a priority. The high cost of energy and the need for GHG emissions reduction has created a new set of criteria for HVACR design, selection and management.
The Federal Department of the Environment reports that in 2012 the HVACR industry in Australia represented:
- 45 M individual installations
- 23% of electricity consumption ($14B per annum)
- 12% of national CO2 emissions
- $26B annual spend | $ 6B capital investment per annum
- 20,000 firms | 170,000 employees, with approx. 70,000 licensed to handle fluorocarbon refrigerants.
Whilst serving us well, changing commercial, environmental and regulatory conditions are driving change in the HVACR industry. The key drivers include:
- High energy prices
- New international agreements calling for reduced use of high Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerants (HFC)
- Availability of low GWP and energy efficient refrigerant based technology
- Regulation and incentives to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions
- Technology development targeting energy efficiency and emissions reduction
The purpose of the HVACR Energy Efficiency Seminar 2016 is to explore the many ways commercial, residential and industrial property owners can reduce HVACR energy consumption and cost. We have identified a wide range of energy efficiency solutions that property owners, property managers and energy savings consultants need to consider.
It is estimated Australia has the potential to reduce its HVACR energy bill and operating costs by over $10 B per annum. In so doing HVACR GHG emissions could be reduced by over 50% – this equates to a 7% reduction in national emissions from HVACR alone.