A blueprint for a successful transition to a low-emissions future

In 2014 AIRAH and a coalition of stakeholders from within the Australian heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry developed a blueprint for the industry’s successful transition to a low-emissions future through five pathways to transition, known as PRIME. 

PRIME is as valid today as it was in 2014, and it continues to guide much of AIRAH’s activities on behalf of the HVAC&R industry. Evidence of PRIME in action can be seen through AIRAH’s Advocacy work and in the Innovation Hub for Affordable Heating & Cooling (i-Hub).

Click here to download the PRIME bochure

The PRIME five pathways to transition are: 

Skills and training, licensing, professional registration, tertiary education and an industry council or forum to consider strategy, policy, information sharing, and industry practices. 

Inform government policy and regulations, industry codes and Australian Standards, including validation, regulatory data, and enforcement. 

Educate and inform end users, disseminate low-emission skills and knowledge, technologies, design practices, convert data to information. 

Measure and benchmark HVAC&R performance using system rating tools, industry metrics, building tuning, system optimisation, validated efficiency claims and technology-comparison tools. 

Emission abatement 
Product stewardship, new technologies, work practice accreditation, incentivising low-emission interventions, maintenance for energy efficiency, and refrigerant containment.

Australian HVAC&R is carbon intense. 

According to the Cold Hard Facts report Australian refrigeration and air conditioning was responsible for 13 per cent of total national CO2 emissions, with more than 56 million individual pieces of equipment consuming more than 61,000GWh of electricity – about 24 per cent of all electricity used nationally. When you consider heating and ventilation usage, even more energy was consumed. 

The HVAC&R industry consists of about 20,000 businesses nationally, employing 298,000 people across Australia. In 2016 the industry had overall expenditure of more than $38 billion, which represented 2.3 per cent of national GDP. These are big numbers, illustrating how deeply embedded HVAC&R is within every aspect of the Australian economy. 

As Australia and the developed world acts to control and contain carbon emissions, low-emission HVAC&R has an essential role to play. Future HVAC&R must therefore be low-impact and low-carbon.