Beyond Refrigeration Policy Papers


The Policy Papers below are being prepared to support users of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump technologies to achieve carbon reduction through effective policy implementation, financial incentives, and emissions monitoring.

Our objective is to provide policymakers with 

  • expert advice from Institute of Refrigeration professionals on effective solutions to aid the move to Net Zero
  • the information needed to ensure that policy decisions take into account the interrelation of heating and cooling needs
  • realistic and achievable opportunities, solutions, targets and goals for users in this sector
  • the necessary depth of understanding of total life cycle and sustainable operation
  • advice for non-technical specialists responsible for high-level Net Zero strategies within BEIS and DEFRA / DFE.


Each paper covers a different topic related to the critical issues and ambitions identified in the Beyond Refrigeration Template.  Additional Policy Papers on key aspects highlighted in the template will be added here in due course covering topics such as Energy policy, Financial incentives for purchasing efficient equipment, Codes & Standards.  


Paper 1 - Heating and Cooling (Download Latest Version - Nov 2021)  Policy options to support reducing the need for heating and cooling, achieving the best system performance, using best available technology, balancing heating and cooling needs, whole system sustainability and intelligent energy use.


Paper 2 - Developing the best people and skills  (Download Latest Version - Nov 2021)  Policy options to support the necessary change by all persons involved in using, designing, installing, servicing, maintaining, commissioning and decommissioning of heating and cooling in order to have a long term and lasting impact on achieving Net Zero through long term investment in people and skills.


Paper 3 - Refrigerant Selection (Download Latest Version - Feb 2022) To support Net Zero commitments equipment designers, purchasers, owners and operators should select a refrigerant with the lowest GWP possible - provided that this doesn’t compromise efficiency.  This guidance note outlines how regulation, legislation and incentives are needed to support this. There is no “ideal” refrigerant – the different fluids have properties that affect the environment including global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, flammability, high pressure, toxicity, dangers of chemical breakdown etc. 


Paper 4 - Refrigerant Management Strategies (Download Latest Version - July 2022)  Refrigerants are an essential working fluid for all mechanical cooling and many heat pump-based systems.  This Policy Brief focuses on taking strategic approach to managing the refrigerant in use to reduce environmental impact both direct through leakage during use or at end of life, and indirect through increased energy use of systems running inefficiently whether due to leakage of refrigerant or suboptimal system design.


Paper 5 - Towards a Circular Economy (Download Latest Version - September 2022)  A circular economy is one in which resources are circulated and used for as long as technically and economically feasible, a whole systems approach is used to increase resource efficiency and end-of-life materials are recycled and reclaimed.  This policy brief explores the challenges of developing a circular economy for the RACHP sector where most products and equipment that are in use or coming to end-of-life were not designed for circularity.  The brief covers topics such as increasing resource efficiency through design, extending product life, materials recycling and reclamation and systems thinking/energy efficiency.


Paper 6 - District heating and zoning (Download Latest Version - December 2023)  The more widespread adoption of district heating and the appropriate zoning policies and legislation is anticipated.  Experience from other countries has shown that the leadership of Cities and Central Government are key in driving the significant levels of investment into neighbourhoods required -the risk is that a patchwork of schemes with limited city-wide reach could be introduced and lead to higher costs, drawing power from more expensive sources. The key factors involved in developing effective district heat networks include overall cost, integration with existing energy systems or waste heat networks, thermal storage to balance demand to availability and electrical network capacity. Available from Publications area