New Regulation Requirements Aimed at Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions Effective Sept. 1

Taking aim at greenhouse gases and accelerating the state’s engagement in working to curtail global warming, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today that a new hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) regulation will be published March 1 in the state’s Register of Regulations with requirements for reducing harmful HFCs that go into effect Sept. 1, 2021.

The new regulation establishes a schedule for the state to phase down specific HFCs used in air conditioning/refrigeration equipment, aerosols and foams. HFCs are hundreds to thousands of times more potent per unit of mass than carbon dioxide (CO2) in contributing to climate change. Emissions of HFC emissions are growing at a rate of 8% per year, and the regulation will address the critical need to phase down their use.

“The HFCs targeted by this regulation are gases that are highly potent in terms of global warming potential,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “The adoption of these prohibitions will expand and strengthen Delaware’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

The phase-down schedule and the requirements contained in the new HFC regulation were informed by a strong stakeholder engagement process. Through it, industry, non-government organizations, and industry association representatives worked with DNREC to tailor the regulation to reflect technology feasibility and additional environmental, industrial and economic considerations. The phase-down schedule – detailed in the regulation – begins Sept. 1, 2021, for specific HFC end-uses.

In concert with the regulatory effort for reducing greenhouse gases, the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy has developed the “Cool Switch” Low Impact Refrigerant Program that offers incentives to offset the initial costs of switching to new equipment or retrofitting existing equipment to use a low-global warming potential refrigerant. The Cool Switch program complements the regulation to accelerate the state’s transitioning away from HFCs – and is a voluntary program available to Delaware businesses and non-residential consumers that use at least 50 lbs. of refrigerant. For comparison, 50 lbs. of refrigerant in a system might be used by the typical convenience store for effective cooling, with grocery stores and schools examples of non-residential consumers that use much more than 50 lbs. at a given time for their refrigerant needs.

The Cool Switch program launched in early 2020 and has since been recognized as one of the Top 100 Climate Policy Breakthroughs by Apolitical, a social network that promotes sharing innovative ideas and best practices among government agencies. The Buccini/Pollin Group, Giant Foods and Sea Watch International are among Delaware businesses that already are participating in the program to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Delaware.

More information about the new HFC regulation can be found on DNREC website. Details about the Cool Switch HFC program can be found on the website.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. The Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti,; Nikki Lavoie,