The transition to more efficient heating and cooling technologies is being promoted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a new rule proposed to restrict use of polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in certain products and equipment where more climate friendly alternatives are available.

Under the 2020 American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, the agency is authorized to limit or prohibit the use of HFCs in specific sectors and to phase in these requirements over time as appropriate. The proposed rule would limit the use of climate-damaging HFCs in certain foams, aerosol products, and refrigeration, airSource: EPASource: EPA conditioning, and heat pump equipment. A national HFC phasedown is expected to achieve a 40% reduction below historic levels starting in 2024 and an 85% reduction by 2036.

The new rule will help guide this overall phasedown by accelerating the transition away from HFCs in areas where substitutes are available or being introduced, helping to unlock additional climate benefits and savings. The EPA estimates that this action would provide greenhouse gas emissions reductions of up to 35 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, equivalent to annual fuel consumption of roughly 7.5 million gasoline-powered cars. The cumulative savings for industry and consumers stemming from improved energy efficiency and lower cost refrigerants is estimated to be up to $8 billion through 2050.

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