Energy and the Environment

Our products are independently tested and verified to international energy performance standards. It means our innovations are based on the needs of today’s operator: products that deliver practical, energy saving, high performance solutions.

Williams’ continual investment programme in our in-house design, research and development facilities, not only in the UK but also China and Australia, keeps us at the forefront of refrigeration technology, developing products that will shape the future. We use the very latest techniques to ensure that every product is the best it can be, in every way, from temperature control, ergonomic design, aesthetics and energy efficiency to performance, reliability and sustainability. Using Best Available Technology (BAT) such as 3D modelling, airflow analysis and thermography, we test each aspect of the design’s operation as we strive to deliver the market’s most innovative refrigeration equipment.

Williams’ reputation for refrigeration excellence stretches beyond the industry. We play an integral role in Eco Design and the regulatory framework: an active member from the Williams team sits on the EU Standards Committee and is a member of SIRAC technical forum and BRA industry working group.

F Gas

F-Gases are man-made refrigerants which have often been used instead of ozone depleting substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). However, F-Gases are powerful greenhouse gases, with a global warming effect of up to 23,000 times greater than Carbon Dioxide.

There has been an important change to F-Gas Regulations in recent years to reduce emissions of greenhouse fluorinated gases (F-Gases) used in refrigeration (and air conditioning).

The original F-Gas regulation in 2006 focussed on controlling emissions through improved installations, F-Gas recovery and engineering training.

The updated regulation in 2014 aimed to achieve a 79% cut in emissions across the EU from 2015 to 2030. From 2015 revised F-Gas regulations saw further measures taken to contain the gas e.g. leak checks and regular record keeping.

To further help achieve the 79% target, legislation now includes the ban on some F-Gases and encourages the use of technologies operating on refrigerants with a significantly lower Global Warming Potential (GWP).

F Gas Key Dates

From 2020

All refrigeration equipment running on HFCs with a GWP of 2,500 or more have been banned since 1st January 2020. This includes R404A refrigerant.

From 2022

All F-Gases with a GWP of more than 150 will be banned in the sale of reach-in models. This includes R134a refrigerant.

From 2030

Reclaimed and/or recovered refrigerants with a GWP of more than 2,500 for service and maintenance for refrigeration and freezer equipment will be banned. This includes R404A refrigerant.

After Sales / Service

Regulation guidelines state that an F-Gas with a GWP of more 2,500 can be used only if it has been reclaimed or recovered from similar equipment and up until 2030. ‘Retrofilling’ is encouraged. F-Gas is removed from the system and replaced with an alternative with the lowest possible GWP, or to fully replace the refrigeration system with new equipment that uses a refrigerant with a lower GWP.

Hydrocarbon Refrigerant

Natural hydrocarbon refrigerant reduces energy consumption by up to 15% due to its excellent thermodynamic properties and it almost eliminates any environmental impact due to its low GWP and zero ODP.

Our low energy compressors, specifically designed for use in hydrocarbon units, are all VDE approved, and all current products fall below the 150g threshold for hydrocarbon equipment.

We have taken measures to ensure our manufacturing process is fast, efficient and safe and have recently invested in a fourth automatic charging and evacuation station for hydrocarbon refrigerants.

Legal Responsibilities

Owners of equipment containing F-Gas must adhere to a number of legal responsibilities and breaching them can potentially lead to fines, penalties or criminal offence charges. In the UK, infringements can result in fines from £1,000 to £200,000.

If your business carries out the installation or servicing of refrigeration or air-conditioning
containing F-Gas refrigerants then by law, an F-Gas company certificate must be obtained and renewed every three years. More information can be found here.

Did you know?

COSTS – Even though service technicians can still provide refrigerant maintenance to equipment operating on R404A or R134a, the costs are likely to drastically rise due to reduced availability in these gases.

Latest industry findings suggest that the ban from January 2020 on refrigerants with a GWP of 2,500 or more has seen a significant increase in reclaimed gas prices, with these as high as twice the price of virgin gases. This data has been produced on behalf of the European Commission by German consultancy Öko-Recherche.

Therefore, investing in newer equipment using a natural refrigerant will not only increase best environmental practice but can also potentially decrease maintenance costs.

NEXT STEPS – Acting on the phase out sooner rather than later can save time and money, as well as boost eco-initiatives. Things to consider when initiating your own phase out plan include replacing equipment over 5 years old which are out of warranty, identify refrigerant gas used in new models and finding out more information on efficiency and performance via the distributor or manufacturer.

Williams Refrigeration can help in these areas as well as being able to provide a flexible payment solution to spread the cost of quality, market leading refrigeration equipment.

WEEE Directive

Williams is a 100% reclaimed or recyclable company. This is maintained through our WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which offers a comprehensive scheme for the decommissioning and removal of products brought since January 2007.

As all our products are 99% recyclable, you can be sure that the refrigeration you buy today won’t end up at landfill.

We can also dispose of old units upon replacing, be it a Williams or any other manufacturer, to make sure these are treated responsibly. Old units enter a process of being scrapped for parts that are fit for reuse, otherwise recycled or reclaimed.

Green Team

The FEA and Trees for Cities collaboration, which was launched during 2021, provides FEA members with the platform to offset their carbon footprint, provide cleaner air for the next generation, reduce noise pollution in inner city areas and educate children in the importance of nurturing the environment. Williams is a proud supporter of this scheme and has to date contributed to over 1,600 tree plantations.


Provides recognition for low environmental impact buildings. It gives assurance that best environmental practice is incorporated into a building. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings, setting the standard for best practice in sustainable design.

Williams works closely with foodservice consultants on many major projects helping them to gain valuable BREEAM points for the end-user. For example, we offer internal thermal imaging of our coldrooms within our handover documentation, proving that the client is receiving a box that has a tight thermal seal for all panel joints - compliant with The Institute of Refrigeration’s Code of Practice.

Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS)

The Minimum Energy Performance Standard came into effect in July 2016 for professional refrigerated storage cabinets and counters (BS EN 16825/EN ISO 22041). It is set by The European Commission to limit the maximum amount of energy that may be consumed by a product, while in operation.

The temperature and energy performance are tested and ranked against the Test Standards and is displayed in the form of an energy label.

From July 2019, the energy label for professional cabinets and counters has displayed energy efficiency classes ranked A+++ to G (formerly A to G). There is currently no label required for Blast Cabinets but in 2016 it became mandatory to declare energy data within the Operating Manual. Tests are conducted to BS EN 17032.

Energy labels for products bound for the UK market will have a Union Jack printed on the label, while products bound for the European market will have the flag of Europe.

From January 2019, suppliers have been required to register all equipment requiring  an energy label with the EUROPEAN PRODUCT DATABASE for ENERGY LABELLING (EPREL). This database went live to the public via the EPREL website in March 2021. 

Since March 2021, Display Cabinets (BS EN ISO 23953) and Beverage Coolers (BS EN 16902) also have a minimum energy threshold and label applied.

Energy labels for Display Cabinets and Beverage Coolers include a QR Code, taking the end user directly to the manufacturer’s website if within the UK or the EPREL website if sold within the EU.

The tests prescribed within the above Test Standards are conducted within Williams’ four independently calibrated environmental test chambers. View the EPREL database here.

Latest energy grades, MEPS guide and technical information are available in our Info Centre.

Future potential MEPS changes:

• Coldrooms - waiting for enforcement date to be announced

• Refrigerated storage cabinets and counters for Professional use currently not encompassed by the scope of the standard. For example preparation counters fitted with a gastronorm well.

Energy Technology List (ETL)

The ETL (Energy Technology List) is a government-managed list of energy-efficient plant and machinery. It is part of the ECA (Enhanced Capital Allowance) tax scheme for businesses. However, from April 2020 the scheme ceased to offer any tax relief of buying products from the ETL.

Despite this amendment to its process, the ETL still acts as an important tool, with buyers safe in the knowledge that every product listed complies with ETL scheme standards and are energy-efficient. Williams has a number of products on the ETL.

Climate Change Commitment

Responding to the impact of global warming, the UK government introduced a number of environmental taxes and relief schemes encouraging businesses to operate in a more environmentally-friendly manner.

The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is an environmental tax charged on the energy used by businesses. It has replaced the former Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), which was phased out in July 2019 in an effort to significantly streamline the business energy tax landscape.

The CCL is designed to encourage businesses to be more energy efficient in how they operate, helping to reduce their overall greenhouse emissions. Lower CPS (Carbon Price Support) rates of CCL also encourages businesses to generate their own electricity using low-carbon technologies.

Williams works actively on reducing our impact to global warming. We have been generating energy through our solar panels since 2015, reducing the company’s annual CO2 emissions by 297 tonnes per annum.