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HB 141: Allowing better HVAC alternatives — 2023

Summary: HB 141 would allow for the use of alternative refrigerants that don't harm the ozone or exacerbate climate change.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: House Committee

Issue Areas: Building Codes, Climate, Climate Change

Official Legislative Site

Rep. James Petzke (R-Meridian) introduced HB 141 to allow for the use of alternative refrigerants by the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) industry in Idaho.

In 1987 an international treaty was signed, known as the Montreal Protocol, which incidentally is the only treaty ever signed by every nation on planet Earth. The treaty, along with 1992 and 1995 amendments to the Clean Air Act, limited the use of CFCs that were found responsible for creating a hole in the ozone layer, threatening public health, especially in southern latitudes.

Recent research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration demonstrates that the agreement is working. The ozone hole is shrinking and the levels of ozone-depleting CFCs are decreasing in the atmosphere, but while some of the replacement chemicals, known as Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), may not punch a hole in the ozone, they are one of the most potent, and fastest growing greenhouse gasses according to the North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council.

HB 141 seeks to allow for the use of alternatives to HFCs, in accordance with forthcoming EPA rules, prior to the formal adoption by the Idaho HVAC Board. That means that Idaho HVAC installers will be able to use safe and improved refrigerants in Idaho’s homes and businesses that don’t threaten our planet.