Energy experts have identified a three-pronged approach as a key in phasing out the use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in buildings after workshops by the ozone department of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The workshops were organised with support from Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

An EESL statement said the first step is to reduce demand for refrigerants through energy efficient equipment and buildings. The second is to replace HCFCs with zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP) alternatives that achieve both ozone protection and climate benefits. The third is to use not-in-kind alternative technologies that do not rely on Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).

About 70-80 per cent of the Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) are used in refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC), building insulation and fire fighting equipment. This is contributing to both direct and indirect CO2 emissions. Therefore, buildings will have a significant impact on emissions in the years to come. Energy efficiency in buildings and equipment has been identified as the key to mitigating both ozone depletion and impacts on climate change, the EESL statement added.

The workshops focused on implementing energy efficiency and phasing out HCFCs in the building sector. The EESL statement said, “These workshops helped to understand the existing regulatory framework in the sector to support HCFC phase-out management plan, preparedness of various stakeholders, and probable hurdles that need to be overcome for successful implementation of the HCFC phase-out management plan (HPMP) in the building sector. “