F-Gas Compliance

The law now demands that all businesses and individuals completing the installation and servicing of refrigeration, air-conditioning or heat pump equipment, which contains F Gas refrigerants, must be fully trained and certified to do so. Secker & Sons (Norwich) Ltd holds full F-Gas certification accredited by REFCOM and approved by DEFRA.

Your annual F-Gas compliance checks and certification can be incorporated into one of our Planned Maintenance Contracts. Our team of fully trained experts are able to advise on the new regulations which are being enforced in the UK.

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) are powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming if released into the atmosphere. HFCs are the most common type of F gases and are mainly used as the refrigerant in air conditioning/heat pump and commercial refrigeration systems.

Owners Legislation

Users of air conditioning & commercial refrigeration systems can be found across a large number of sectors including: food retail, non-food retail, office buildings, hospitality, leisure, catering, and food and drink manufacture to name but a few.

Since 2006 owners and operators of air conditioning & refrigeration systems must comply with a range of increasingly complex legislation which includes the following duties:

  • Arrange Energy Efficiency Inspections – all air conditioning systems containing over 3kg of F-Gas refrigerant must be checked for damage and leaks at least once per year by an F-Gas certified contractor
  • Prevent leakage of refrigerants
  • Repair any detected leak as soon as possible by an F-Gas certified contractor
  • Recover refrigerant by an F-Gas certified contractor
  • Use appropriately trained and qualified contractors to service, maintain and dispose of equipment and refrigerant
  • Maintain records for each system detailing :
    • The quantity & type of refrigerant
    • Quantities of refrigerant added, recovered and disposed of
    • Identification of technician and company who performed any servicing or maintenance
    • The dates and results of leak checks

Most smaller, single split systems contain less than 3kg of F-Gas but, even then, the general obligations still apply.

 

Powers of regulators

A regulator (usually the local authority) has a range of options at its disposal to protect the environment and will use the option or options it believes will best ensure compliance with the FGG Regulations 2009. If an organisation does not comply with these regulations, the action taken by the regulator may include:

  • providing targeted advice and guidance to an organisation to secure compliance.
  • serving an “enforcement notice”. The contents of an enforcement notice must include a description of the contravention of the regulations, specification of steps suitable remedy and a date by which time the remedies must be in effect.
  • serving a “prohibition notice”. A regulator will use this type of notice where specific requirements are contravened or there is a risk that they will be contravened and such contravention will involve “an imminent danger of serious pollution of the environment”. Prohibition notices allow the regulator to insist on a piece of equipment or even a whole site being shut down.

 

The penalties

A person who commits an offence under these regulations is liable:

  • on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum
  • on conviction on indictment, to a fine.

 

R-22 Refrigerant Ban in Air Conditioning

From 1 Jan 2010 it became illegal to use HCFCs such as R-22 when servicing and maintaining air conditioning equipment. Only ‘recycled’ R22 is available from 1 Jan 2010  and all R22 use will be banned from 1 Jan 2015. This is an issue for many as R-22 was the most commonly used refrigerant until about 2002.

There are two options regarding R22 air conditioning system replacement – full or part replacement. Full replacement involves the replacement of all air conditioning equipment and component parts. Mitsubishi Electric’s patented Replace Technology system enables part replacement, where the air conditioning equipment is replaced but the existing pipework and electrical system is retained. In both systems, the new inverter driven R410A air conditioning units are used, offering energy savings of around 50% on R22 driven systems.

We will take a number of factors into account when advising you to proceed with full or part replacement including the age & condition of your equipment, maintenance history, pipe-work condition & payback period for replacement with a 50% more efficient inverter model.

 

 


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