At the end of 2014, R-22 refrigerant will be banned under EU legislation. So air conditioner systems with R-22 gas will effectively become redundant as any loss of gas cannot be replaced. It is estimated that there are still millions of R-22 systems still in operation, but the main reason for businesses delaying implementation of R-22 replacement systems is, putting it simply, the expense.
That may be about to change with a new leasing scheme being introduced by Toshiba. This scheme allows companies to pay for R-22 replacement air conditioner equipment from the savings in electricity.
They claim that in most cases there is no cost involved. According to David Dunn, Toshiba Air conditioner commercial director ” Toshiba’s new lease scheme enables businesses to replace aging R-22 plant with new high efficiency air conditioner in a budget neutral way.”He goes on to say “The savings in running costs in the vast majority of cases pay for the leasing costs on the new equipment, giving up to 7 years peace of mind – plus good quality air conditioning for building occupants.”
As with many of the latest air conditioner systems, the key to the scheme is the use of efficiency R410A equipment to replace old R-22 systems. The new equipment uses much less energy to deliver the same cooling and heating to a building, dramatically reducing the user’s energy bills. They claim that in most cases, the monthly saving in running costs will equal the lease costs for the new equipment, making the replacement programme budget neutral. Learn more about the bluon and tdx 20.
It is a revolutionary way of not just resolving the R-22 headache, but also to encourage commercial companies to reduce their carbon footprint now, rather than waiting until they can afford the capital investment. In many ways, this scheme reflects the ideas proposed in the governments ‘Green Deal’. The government wants businesses to install modern air conditioner (and heating), then pay for it through their electricity bill, based on the savings that are made in electricity. Where the ‘Green Deal’ differs from the Toshiba scheme is that the ‘Green Deal’ proposes that businesses pay back the investment through their electricity bills.
In principle, what Toshiba are doing here is far reaching and we very much expect that the other manufacturers will follow suit with schemes of their own. Toshiba have sweetened the deal even further by offering warranties for up to 7 years on the leased equipment, removing uncertainty on servicing and maintenance costs and delivering guaranteed monthly expenditure for budgeting purposes.
Toshiba already reports keen interest in the scheme from a number of national estates still dependent on R-22-based air conditioner. A key attraction in the current economic climate is that the scheme solves the R-22 problem without requiring upfront investment in capital costs. Our only observation at this stage is that the equipment cost of a new installation is often only a 1/3 of the overall cost. So do the lease payments factor in all the other costs associated with a new install – I would expect so, but you will need to read the small print?
There is also a counter argument that it may be worth waiting to see the exact shape and form of the Governments ‘Green Deal’ as it is finalised later in the year. Although, don’t hold your breath – its already been delayed more than once and time is running out to replace those old R-22 systems.