Biden EPA Implementing Air Conditioning, Refrigeration Restrictions

The Biden administration announced a series of regulatory changes related to a number of common utilities. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule would sharply reduce the use of elements utilized in air conditioning and refrigerators by 2036.

The EPA regulation finalized this week would limit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Under the plan, HFC use would be reduced by 40% over the next five years and by 85% by 2036. 

HFCs became a popular replacement for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which damage the ozone layer.

HFC use does not damage the ozone layer, though the EPA identified it as a significant driver of climate change.

According to the change finalized this week, prices for using and maintaining air conditioners, heat pumps and refrigerators may increase for consumers.

Since the Biden administration announced the regulatory changes, the cost of common refrigerants approximately tripled.

Many common types of air conditioners will be barred from sale starting in 2025.

Furthermore, the Department of Energy introduced a number of regulations related to energy efficiency. The rule has caused the cost of central air systems to increase significantly since the rule’s implementation last year.

The Obama administration attempted a similar series of restrictions on refrigerants in 2016.

The Biden White House’s changes are also not the only ones intending to phase out commonly-used appliances. The city of Berkeley and the state of New York implemented a number of restrictions on the use of natural gas.

Earlier this year, New York barred residential hookups to natural gas supplies.

The natural gas use restrictions will phase in several stages. First will be the barring of such hookups for small buildings starting in 2025, and expanding to larger buildings in 2028. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) justified the action by discussing the “effects of climate change.” 

The governor claimed that the changes would lead her state to a “more sustainable future.” She also said that the budget bill which ushered in the ban “meets this moment with ambition and the commitment it demands.”