Tool Calculates Cost of Refrigerant Leaks

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.

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 here [3] under Tools and Calculators.

In the example given in the calculator, in order 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 1.0%. 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 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."