BOSTON, Mass. — In recognition of Massachusetts Climate Week, the Baker-Polito Administration has announced that $2.5 million is available through the Commercial Refrigeration Grant Program to support the use of more climate-friendly and low global-warming-potential (GWP) refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment in Massachusetts.
Many commercial refrigeration systems use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent greenhouse gases (GHGs), with GWPs that are up to thousands of times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). These harmful refrigerants leak into the atmosphere over time, contributing to climate change. While technologies using more climate-friendly refrigerants with lower GWPs are available, implementation of these technologies in the commercial refrigeration sector has been relatively low to date.
“In order to meet the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate goals, the Baker-Polito Administration is continuing to advance a variety of methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while simultaneously supporting Massachusetts’ many sectors and businesses,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Importantly, MassDEP’s Commercial Refrigeration Grant program seeks to expand the market for new climate-friendly technologies, including by providing critical funds to advance these efforts further along.”
The Commercial Refrigeration Grant Program, which administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), will provide financial incentives to increase the voluntary implementation of low GWP refrigerants in commercial refrigeration equipment and to install permanent refrigerant leak detection systems on existing equipment using high GWP refrigerants. The program aims to increase the voluntary adoption of eco-friendly refrigerants with lower GWPs by providing a financial stimulus for adoption by the retail food industry, food banks, and nonprofit institutions with commercial refrigeration equipment.
“MassDEP is building on its prior actions to reduce HFC emissions with the Commercial Refrigeration Grant Program,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to provided financial support for Massachusetts facilities that want to transition to greener refrigerants or refrigerant management practices. The workforce development and information sharing encouraged by the program will also help develop the workforce needed for the market for low GWP refrigerants to mature across the Commonwealth.”
To further advance the emerging market for low-GWP refrigerants for commercial refrigeration in Massachusetts, all awarded projects will be encouraged to provide free workforce development activities to local technicians, such as making the equipment available for servicing demonstrations or partnering with trade associations. Additionally, to mitigate current HFC emissions and reach facilities that may not yet be able switch to a lower GWP refrigeration system, MassDEP is also offering funding for the installation of permanent refrigerant leak detection systems at existing facilities using HFC refrigerants.
The $2.5 million allocated to this grant program will be awarded in one competitive grant round, with $90,000 set aside for refrigerant leak detection system projects. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2023. Eligibility is based on criteria set forth in the program’s Requirements Document. For more information, visit the Commercial Refrigeration Grant Program webpage.
MassDEP’s mission is to protect and enhance the Commonwealth’s natural resources – air, water and land – to provide for the health, safety and welfare of all people, and a clean and safe environment for future generations. In carrying out this mission, MassDEP commits to address and advance environmental justice and equity for all people of the Commonwealth, provide meaningful, inclusive opportunities for people to participate in agency decisions that affect their lives and ensure a diverse workforce that reflects the communities served by the agency.
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