Cold Hard Facts 3: An essential reference for the HVAC&R industry

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cold Hard Facts 3 just might be the most comprehensive inventory yet produced of the Australian HVAC&R sector, according to AIRAH, the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heating.   

Produced by The Expert Group for the Department of the Environment and Energy, Cold Hard Facts 3 presents nationwide figures for HVAC&R equipment, refrigerant, energy consumption and emissions.

The report aims to provide policy makers, industry, and the general public with a broad view of the industry’s size and value. The Cold Hard Facts reports also establish benchmarks that can be used in the future as reference points against which to measure growth and change.

Cold Hard Facts really is an example of Australia leading the world,” says AIRAH CEO Tony Gleeson, M.AIRAH. “Other countries would dearly love to have such a complete inventory of their HVAC&R industries, especially given the fragmented nature of our sector and the way it crosses over so many others.

“Importantly, Cold Hard Facts 3 gives us the big numbers that a general audience can understand: how many people HVAC&R employs, how much money it represents to our economy, and what it means in terms of energy use and emissions. These facts and figures are vital for raising the profile of the industry and having our voice heard.”

Based on data up to 2016, Cold Hard Facts 3 confirms the continued growth of Australia’s HVAC&R sector – ahead of population growth and GDP – and points to some key trends.

Just the facts from Cold Hard Facts 3
Employment in the HVAC&R sector rose from 173,000 in 2012 (1.5 per cent of 11.53m) to 298,400 (2.5 per cent of 12.47m). These individuals are employed in more than 20,000 businesses operating in the industry and earned about $24bn in wages and salaries in 2016.

Direct spending – on purchasing, installing, maintaining and operating RAC equipment – rose from $26.2bn (1.7 per cent of $1,522bn) to $38.11bn (2.3 per cent of $1,679bn).

Electricity use rose slightly, from 59,100GWh (23.5 per cent of 251,000GWh) to 61,000GWh (23.6 per cent of 258,000 GWh). The report notes that RAC technology in all its forms is the single largest electricity-consuming class of technology in Australia.

Emissions and equipment
Greenhouse emissions also rose slightly from 64.5Mt CO2e (11.9 per cent of 547Mt) to 68.71Mt CO2e (12.4 per cent of 554Mt). This is made up of 58.7Mt CO2e of indirect emissions (that is, from electricity consumption by HVAC&R) and 10Mt CO2e of direct emissions from leaks and equipment end-of-life losses.

The stock of equipment rose from 45m to 50m pieces. Of special note was the increase in the walk-in coolroom sector – up 265 per cent from 98,100 to 258,000.

“The key message in this report is that the Australian HVAC&R sector is increasing in scope and in importance,” says Gleeson. “It’s encouraging news for those of us in the industry, not just because it promises economic growth, but because it reaffirms our ability to make a positive impact.”

For more information go to www.environment.gov.au/protection/ozone/publications/cold-hard-facts-3.