Debate opens on introducing HFC tax in the UK

Debate opens on introducing HFC tax in the UK

In the April RAC magazine, SIRAC, the networking organisation promoting new technology in refrigeration and air conditioning, Debate opens on introducing HFC tax in the UKdiscusses its proposal on taxing hydrofluorocarbons on a Global Warming Potential basis as a tool to fund the development of new technology, such as hydrocarbons technology, and help prevent leakage in the UK.

SIRAC, the Industrial Academic Research Partnership Network on Sustainable Innovation in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, has set out to open a wider debate within the RAC industry on its proposal to introduce a tax on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) based on their Global Warming Potential (GWP). Revenues would then be used to subsidise recovery, new technology and training. Being a significant contributor to the greenhouse gases emitted worldwide, the whole RAC supply and user chain should take environmental responsibility, argues SIRAC in the April 2009 RAC magazine.

The proposal

Similar to the approach already implemented in Norway and Denmark, SIRAC proposes the introduction of a UK tax on the supply of HFCs, whereby the revenues would be used to fund improvements in refrigerant management, including:

  • Incentives to return or recycle refrigerants
  • Subsidies on innovation and adoption of new technology to enable it to compete with established technologies with poorer environmental credentials

The need to press for more effective legislation and fiscal measures to incentivise the adoption of new technology and leakage reduction, emerged at the “Futures Conference” event organised by SIRAC in early February, where there was strong consensus that technical solutions on their own would not be sufficient to respond to long-term problems such as refrigerant containment. Participants acknowledged the important role natural refrigerants, including hydrocarbons, could play in building a sustainable and competitive RAC industry.

SIRAC now welcomes comments on the UK HFC tax introduction debate.


SIRAC is a networking organisation for promoting new technology in refrigeration and air conditioning that helps increase the flow of information between those with problems to solve and those with the ideas to solve them.

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