EPA Extends Date for Higher-GWP Installation

Every year, it seems, some branch of government hands down rules and decisions that impact the HVAC industry. If it feels like you’re on a roller coaster, you’re not alone. It’s typically about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) making new rules that in turn make HVAC technology cleaner, greener and better for the environment, which is good for everyone. But it can cause its share of headaches for HVAC professionals along the way who have to scramble to comply with new rules and regulations.

The most recent case happened at the end of December (2023), but this time, it turned out to be a positive for our side. We can thank our lobbyists at HARDI and others for that. Here’s what went down.

You may have already heard the EPA was gearing up to issue a ruling about the transition to low-GWP refrigerants in new refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump systems. It has been happening in phases since the original law was passed in 2020, so this was expected.

Here’s what surprised people. Everyone in the industry who was watching for this ruling expected it to come with a cushion of time to comply with the deadline. It didn’t. The EPA handed down a “date of install” rule that specified residential higher-GWP units HVAC units needed to be installed by January 2025. 

As you can imagine, the EPA received a lot of backlash about that time frame. Not that anyone in the HVAC industry wants to run around polluting the environment – that’s not the issue. It was a matter of inventory, for us at Goodin Company, for you, our customers, and for manufacturers, too. That deadline was just too tight, it was unworkable given the long lead times we often see in ordering, manufacturing, and installing these units. We’d all be left on the hook for inventory we couldn’t sell or install due to that new ruling.

After some heavy lobbying efforts, EPA Administrator Michael S. Reagan signed an interim final rule to address those concerns. To translate the “government speak” for you, it boils down to a one-word change. Instead of the units needing to be installed by January 2025, they need to have been manufactured by that date. The installation can now take place up until January 2026.

What the new date means for you

We’d encourage you to look at this change the way we’re looking at it. As HARDI pointed out, it’s an opportunity to reduce or eliminate any remaining high-GWP inventory you may have on hand. It’s breathing room. 

At Goodin, we’re always watching any pending or proposed legislation that’s going to impact the HVAC and plumbing industries. We’ve got your back. 

For more information about this ruling, visit www.epa.gov/climate-hfcs-reduction. 

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