WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary GreenChill partnership has created a new “Financial Impact Calculator” that allows retailers to compare the cost of a refrigerant leak with the sales of a particular product — such as milk — that would be needed to cover that cost.
The tool is available at www.epa.gov/greenchill/ptnrresources.html under Tools and Calculators.
In the example given in the calculator, to make up for the loss of 100 pounds of the refrigerant R-404A, with a price per pound of $6.83, a store would have to sell 19,514 gallons of milk priced at $3.50 per gallon, with a profit margin of 1%. This does not factor in technician costs for parts and labor, costs due to decreases in energy efficiency when the refrigeration system is not properly charged, or food spoilage costs. Any grocery product could be used in the calculator.
“The feedback I am getting from GreenChill's new financial impact calculator has been incredible,” said Keilly Witman, manager of the GreenChill program. “It's a very simple concept, but putting the cost of leaks into context has really opened a lot of eyes.”
On the GreenChill Linkedin page, Witman publicized the calculator, noting that it could “show your boss that it's worth investing in leak detection and repair.”
In September, GreenChill posted a similar tool on its website, “Greenhouse Gas Impact Calculator,” which allows food retailers to compare the effect that their refrigerant leaks and electricity consumption has on global warming and climate change.