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Industry Issues

The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada’s (HRAI) manufacturers division Board of Directors, and its task team assisted by HRAI staff, review and take action to effectively manage industry issues that directly impact on member business operations. Some of the many issues currently being addressed are:

Refrigerants and Depletion of the Ozone Layer

The division and HRAI have been working since 1986 on solutions to the global ozone depletion issue including the introduction of new environmental industry practices and the replacement of ozone-depleting refrigerants. HRAI supports the global agreement on measures to protect the ozone layer and has actively represented the Canadian industry in the implementation of federal and provincial ODS regulations. HRAI also supports the phase-out dates in the Environmental Protection Act for ozone-depleting refrigerants and the termination of production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) which occurred on December 31, 1995.

The division and HRAI continue to be actively involved with Environment Canada, provincial environment ministries, and the federal/provincial Working Group on ODS Controls Harmonization on the development of further ODS measures including environmental awareness training for refrigerant handlers, the eventual phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants and the introduction of alternative refrigerants.

Energy Efficiency Standards

The division actively represents its members in establishing minimum efficiency standards for residential and commercial heating, air conditioning, ventilation and refrigeration equipment for the various federal and provincial energy efficiency acts and regulations. The division supports efficiency levels that meet the technology challenges and timetables of their members, government and the consumer and most importantly, levels that are in harmony with the US and the international marketplace. This harmonization approach includes test procedures and product labelling.

Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation

The division and HRAI have been leaders in implementing technologies and standards to address indoor air quality (IAQ), particularly in the residential sector. Through the development of ventilation products, technical standards and technician training and certification, the division has provided solutions to IAQ with special emphasis on ventilation technology for tightly constructed buildings. The division works closely with CMHC, the Home Ventilating Institute, ASHRAE and provincial building officials on ventilation code requirements and R&D efforts to identify the nature and extent of contaminants and their health implications on indoor air.

Climate Change

The emerging global concern over climate change is a subject of ongoing work by the division and HRAI as the world moves towards an international protocol. The indoor environment industry contributes to Canadian efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by manufacturing energy-efficient equipment. HRAI continues to emphasize to Canadian policy-makers the positive role of improved energy efficiency in HVACR equipment in reducing energy consumption and the industry's actions to limit emissions of refrigerants that have global warning potential.

The division also provides member input to the Canadian government on the need for ongoing international scientific assessment of climate change and the need to use the internationally-accepted industry approach of Total Equivalent Warning Index (TEWI) to measure the global warning contributions of energy-using systems.