Navigating New York's Proposed HFC Regulations

Impact on Our Economy and Environment

The State of New York has proposed updates to its rule governing the phasedown of substances that contribute to climate change.  The proposal specifically focuses on limiting the use of high-climate impact chemicals known as hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, which are commonly used in refrigerators, home air conditioning, asthma inhalers, and building insulation.

As an innovator of climate-protecting technologies and policies, Honeywell has actively supported actions to reduce climate-potent HFCs at the international, national, and state levels. We have worked with partners to invest more than $1B in the development and manufacture of more environmentally friendly refrigerant technologies, purposefully designed to replace HFCs. However, New York's proposal goes further than most – ultimately banning even newly developed, environmentally-friendlier products that help keep perishable food and pharmaceuticals fresh, decarbonize our homes with electric heat pumps, and efficiently insulate our buildings.

These substances, called HFOs (hydrofluoroolefins), were invented by scientists at Honeywell’s world-leading research laboratory in Buffalo, NY, and have already prevented the potential release of the equivalent of 326 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - equal to the carbon emissions from nearly 70 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles per year.

While the state’s well-meaning intent is to combat climate change, this approach would unnecessarily increase costs for businesses and consumers.  For instance, the regulations will force grocery stores to replace refrigeration equipment before the end of its useful life, and consumers will ultimately have to foot the bill for the new equipment and the higher costs involved in operating it. It’s safe to say some stores may simply not be able to do it. Similarly, New York homeowners might face the major expense of having to replace their home HVAC systems – in certain instances, twice in less than 10 years.

This is not necessary. We can protect our environment and our economy by permitting the use of refrigerants that work in our current equipment and are better for the environment. It's crucial for New Yorkers to make their voices heard. NYSDEC is accepting comments on the proposed rules until March 19th, with a virtual hearing scheduled for March 13th. It's an opportunity for everyone’s voice to be heard, and for New Yorkers to state clearly that we want rules that will protect our environment without harming our economy. 

You can read the proposed regulations here.

If you want to post a comment, you can do so by sending an email here.

Learn more about HFOs. Get in touch with a Honeywell expert.