Monday, 10 July 2017 17:10

All about refrigerants

 

Reporting refrigerants under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme is a quirky and sometimes confusing process. Not sure if you should be reporting your refrigerants? Not sure how to report refrigerants?

Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

 

Who needs to report

Reporting of refrigerants is only required for facilities which falls under specific ANZIC codes – these are:

  • Food product manufacturing services (ANZIC classification, Subdivision 11)
  • Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing (ANZIC classification, Subdivision 12)
  • Retail trade (ANZIC classification, Division G)
  • Warehousing and storage services (ANZIC classification, number 530)
  • Wholesale trade (ANZIC classification, Division F)
  • Rental, hiring and real estate services (ANZIC classification, Division L)

 

What to report

Refrigerant plant needs to be reported if it meets the following criteria:

  • Has a gas charge of greater than 100 kg
  • Includes a hydroflurocarbon gas listed in subsection 7A(2) of the NGER Act, and that gas has a global warming potential greater than 1000.

 

How to report

You can report on emissions from refrigerants either as incidental emissions, or using the methods described in the NGER Measurement Determination 2008 (the NGER Determination).

If you would like to report your refrigerants as incidentals, both the facility and the refrigerant plant, will need to meet threshold criteria for reporting incidentals. Reporting of incidentals also needs to adhere to the general principles for measuring emissions laid out in section 1.13 of the NGER Determination. This means that if you choose to report refrigerants as incidentals, the emissions report still need to be transparent, comparable, accurate and complete. Furthermore you cannot report refrigerants as incidentals if you are required to collect the information for other legislative purposes.

To report using methods 1 listed in the NGER Determination you will need to collect information about your refrigerant plant. Specifically, you will need to know:

  • The type of cooling the plant is used for (air conditioning, commercial refrigeration, or industrial refrigeration),
  • The type of refrigerant gas is sued in the plant, and
  • The gas charge of the plant.

This information can usually be found either on the plant name plate, or in maintenance records.

Figure 1 below, shows a flow chart for identifying when and how to report your refrigerants.

 

 

 

The traps

There are a few catches to refrigerant reporting which may trip-up the unwary.

Firstly refrigerants may be made up of a mix of gases. In such cases it may not be immediately apparent that the refrigerant needs to be reported. It is important to check the refrigerant specifications to confirm whether it contains a reportable gas.

The requirement to report plant that uses a mix of gases is based on the entire gas charge of the plant, not just the reportable component. If the gas charge of the plant is above 100 kg you must report - it doesn’t matter if the reportable component of the gas mixture is only a small portion of the total.

However, if reporting using method 1, the calculation of emissions does account for the proportion of the gas mix which is reportable. The total quantity of emissions or as known in the NGER Determinations as the Stock value, reflect the proportion of the total gas that is made up of reportable gas(es) by the individual global warming potential of those gas(es).   To calculate the volume of emissions that is reportable, the stock value is multiplied by a leakage factor as per 4.102 of the NGERs Determinations.

Lastly, it is important to note that the refrigerant gases used in your plant may change over time. Under the Montreal Protocol some types of refrigerant gases are being gradually phased out, and new ones introduced. The gas used in your refrigerant plant may be changed during servicing or maintenance, and this change will result in a change in to your emissions.  Hence, what was reported last year, may not be true this year.

 

Contact us

For help on reporting your refrigerants, or assistance in complying with your NGER requirements, contact Claire Bright or Ndevr Environmental on (03) 9865-1400.

 

Published in Blog
Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:28

Reporting Materiality - NGERS 2014

Materiality thresholds for 2013/14 reporting year have changed. From July 2013 Reporters have been required to apply updated thresholds to their data capture and management strategies. The purpose of the changes is to reduce the reporting burden for key materials, namely petroleum based oils and greases, liquid, gaseous and solid fuels.

 

Table 1. New Materiality Thresholds for 2013/14

Fuel type

Threshold per instance of a source

Measurement Determination section

Petroleum-based oils and greases (other than used as fuel)5,000 LDivision 2.4.1, section 2.39(a)
Other liquid fuels (not mentioned in s2.39(a))1,000 LDivision 2.4.1, section 2.39(b)
Gaseous fuels1,000 m3Division 2.3.1, section 2.18
Solid Fuels1 tonneDivision 2.2.1, section 2.2

 

Implications for reporters

These changes to the materiality thresholds will see a more streamlined NGERs 13/14 reporting process as reporters will be able to exclude reporting certain materials if they fall under the specified thresholds.

For example, reporters who consume less than the 5000L of oils and greases per instance of a source will no longer have to mandatorily report the consumption of these substances. Nevertheless, it is recommended that estimates for the quantities of substances consumed be quantified to ensure whether thresholds are tripped or not.

Reporting of immaterial amounts

Reporting fuel combustion and the associated energy consumption related to a separate instance of a source are optional if the amount combusted is less than the reporting thresholds set out in Table 1.

'Separate instance of a source' is defined in section 1.9A of the Measurement Determination as:

"If two or more different activities of a facility have the same source of emissions, each activity is taken to be a separate instance of the source if the activity is performed by a class of equipment is different from that used by another activity."

For example:

The combustion of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in the engines of distribution vehicles and the combustion of LPG in the engines of forklifts at any given facility are taken to be a separate instance of a source as the class of equipment used to the perform the activities are different. This is so even though the activities have the same source of emissions, namely the combustion of LPG fuel.

Discerning Materiality

Determining whether or not a particular NGERs reportable substance will trip thresholds can be undertaken in a variety of ways. Consulting historic datasets and NGER reports will show reporters if substances have met or exceeded thresholds in previous reporting periods. Undertaking representative-sampling and applying the results across similar operations can also provide robust estimates to reporters as to whether particular substances will breach thresholds. Finally, reporters may choose to directly measure the consumption for the reportable items in question and report remissions regardless of whether thresholds have been breached.

Published in Blog

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education has developed a consultation draft to facilitate discussion and obtain feedback on the proposed National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Amendment Determination 2013 (No. 1).

The draft Amendment Determination details updated methods and changes to calculation methods of Greenhouse Gas emissions associated with Coal Seam Gas exploitation, solid waste disposal on land and a revised emission factor for fugitive emission from brown coal mining. The Amendment Determination also seeks improvements for streamlining company reporting and incorporates responses from previous consultations.

Feedback will be received by the department until the 6h of June 2013.

Published in Blog