Germany: Update of the refrigeration and air conditioning directive

The updated version of Germany’s refrigeration and air conditioning directive, which entered into force on January 1, 2017, will extend the scope related to the subsidising of refrigeration and air conditioning systems based on “non-halogenated and low-GWP refrigerants”. This amended directive extends funding to partial retrofits in addition to new system installations and full retrofits or replacements. Applicants can be awarded a maximum of EUR 150,000 per installation.

All new installations must use non-halogenated refrigerants (thus excluding HFCs), with the exception of small compression refrigeration units of 2-5 kW which can use refrigerants whose GWP is below 750).

Several asset categories are eligible for basic funding: compression systems with 2-300 kW electrical power consumption (except ammonia plants); ammonia plants with electrical power consumption of 5-200 kW; sorption systems with 5-500 kW cooling capacity. To help promote energy efficiency, applicants qualify for a bonus if the new or upgraded systems include features such as waste heat recovery/storage and free cooling. Subsidised installations must be independently monitored for a minimum of five years.

The scheme has thus far proven successful since during the programme’s eight years of operation, it has supported 1,300 projects with subsidies totaling some EUR 114 million.