The industry will spend billions to develop new refrigerants and equipment for the HVAC market, a manufacturer group announced Sept. 16 at the White House.

Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute President and CEO Stephen Yurek broke the news at an event sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“Close to $2 billion has been spent by the industry since 2009 researching energy-efficient equipment and the utilization of low-GWP (global warming potential) refrigerants,” Yurek told the audience. “And over the next 10 years, the HVACR industry will invest an additional $5 billion for R and D and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low-GWP technologies.”

The AHRI represents most of the major HVAC equipment manufacturers.

At the event was Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy and Todd Stern, a State Department special envoy for climate change.

“During the past decade, the industry has worked diligently to reduce the potential impact on the Earth’s climate of refrigerants used in our equipment,” Yurek said. “The industry is committed to working with the international community in transitioning away from high-GWP refrigerants in a managed and orderly process, and this research is a tangible part of that commitment.”

Yurek said the HVAC sales industry has been evaluating refrigerants with a reduced risk of adding to global warming since 2011, he said.

 “The industry is committed to working with the international community in transitioning away from high-GWP refrigerants in a managed and orderly process, and this research is a tangible part of that commitment,” he added.