Meetings this month with California agencies offer opportunity to promote low-GWP refrigerant incentive program.
A series of community meetings and a state-wide webcast scheduled this month in California offer HVAC&R stakeholders a chance to promote an HFC-reduction refrigerant incentive program that has been on the state’s agenda since last year.
The meetings (see below), which will be held under the auspices of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), will focus on how state agencies will administer funding to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including HFC emissions.
The agencies manage GHG-reduction programs under California Climate Investments, which taps cap-and-trade dollars to cut GHG emissions and improve public health, especially in disadvantaged communities. The monies are collected in what’s called the greenhouse gas reduction fund (GGRF).
State law requires CARB to develop guidance for agencies that receive appropriations from the GGRF, including guidance on reporting, quantification methods and maximizing benefits to disadvantaged communities.
CARB has already created a draft funding guidelines for agencies. CARB’s board will consider an update to the funding guidelines this fall, in part based on new feedback.
The draft funding guidelines mention HFCs but not refrigeration. At these upcoming meetings, the audience has the opportunity, according to CARB, to “inform administering agencies in the design and implementation of their California Climate Investments programs.”
““Whether cap-and-trade money is allocated for this purpose in the next fiscal year will depend on the final outcome of the budget and legislative process.”
– Glenn Gallagher, CARB
California Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature determine which agencies and projects receive appropriations from the GGRF to invest in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To date, nearly $3.4 billion has been appropriated by the legislature to agencies implementing GHG emission reduction programs. The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2017-18 includes $2.2 billion in funding from the GGRF but the legislature has yet to finalize appropriations.
Last month, Governor Brown signed a legislative package extending the cap-and-trade program through 2030.
What about the refrigerant incentive plan?
In January 2016, Governor Brown’s proposed 2016-2017 budget put away $20 million from the GGRF for incentives to reduce HFC emissions from refrigeration systems.
However, the money never materialized as the refrigerant incentive program was not included in the state’s final budget or in cap-and-trade allocations for the current (2016-2017) fiscal year. The reason cited was insufficient cap-and-trade proceeds. The refrigerant incentive program is part of the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) Proposed Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy.
“Whether cap-and-trade money is allocated for this purpose in the next fiscal year will depend on the final outcome of the budget and legislative process,” noted Glenn Gallagher, air pollution specialist at CARB.
An incentive program for low-GWP refrigeration “has been identified as a highly cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation measure and is included in CARB’s three-year plan for GGRF funds,” he added. “CARB’s analysis found it to be an important component of efforts to meet the SLCP [short-lived climate pollutants] targets under SB 1383.”
The refrigerant incentive program is technology neutral, but is geared toward new systems using refrigerants with a GWP under 150, as well as retrofits of existing equipment that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stand-alone refrigeration units that use hydrocarbons.
The CARB meetings will take place at the following locations; the last meeting will include a webcast.
Fresno - Community Meeting
Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Location: Cecil C. Hinton Community Center
2385 S. Fairview Avenue,
Fresno, California 93706
Los Angeles - Community Meeting
Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Location: Holman United Methodist Church,
3320 W Adams Boulevard,
Los Angeles, California 90018
Oakland - Community Meeting
Date: Monday, August 28, 2017
Time: 6 pm – 8 pm
Location: Elihu Harris Building
1515 Clay Street,
Oakland, California 94612
Sacramento - Workshop and Webcast
Date: Thursday, August 31, 2017
Time: 10 am – 12 pm
Location: CalEPA Headquarters, Sierra Hearing Room
1001 I Street,
Sacramento, California 95814