F-Gas Regulations came into force in April 2014. Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the regulations.
If you have any further questions or want to find out how EMS can help you with your F-Gas compliance please get in contact with us here.
What are these regulations?
EU Regulations 517/2014 (F-Gas) came into force April 2014. It relates to the containment and minimisation of leaks of HFC refrigerants from air conditioning systems. The regulations also seek to reduce the impact of rising global temperatures by banning and phasing out some of the most economically unfriendly refrigerant gases used in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry.
Why are they in place?
Most refrigerants contained in air conditioning systems are manufactured hydro-fluorocarbons (HFC’s) which, when released to atmosphere, have a global warming impact – some over 2,000 times the impact of CO². Therefore strict measures are in place to ensure the refrigerants are made, transported, handled and disposed of in a safe and economical way to mitigate and control the risks associated with global warming.
What are my obligations?
If you own an air conditioning system containing an HFC refrigerant you must have a system in place to ensure that leaks are kept to a minimum through regular leak testing and monitoring of refrigerant use.
What specifically do I have to do?
- Carry out regular leak checks (the frequency depends on the size of equipment)
- Repair any leaks found
- Maintain records of equipment, its refrigerant types and quantities and CO² tonnage
- Maintain a log of all transactions of refrigerant gas in and out of our equipment on site
- Ensure that any company working on the equipment has the proper accreditation
- Ensure that any person working on behalf of an accredited company on the equipment has their own individual proper qualification
How should I do this?
Employ a properly qualified contractor to carry out the work in accordance with the regulations and to provide you with the required records.
How do I know the contractor is qualified?
A qualified company will have an F-Gas certificate issued by an accredited body (e.g Refcom). Each engineer will have a City & Guilds 2079 Certificate. We would advise all customers to keep these records for inspection.
Who is policing these regulations?
Compliance is policed by the Environment Agency and Local Authorities who have wide ranging powers to impose prohibition notices and fines on those not adhering to the regulations.
Should I be looking to replace equipment containing HFC’s
There are longer term aims to replace HFC’s with natural refrigerants with no global warming impact. Until such time as these are readily available, we do not anticipate the need for you to have a replacement strategy.
However, there are newer, cleaner refrigerants which have much less of a global warming impact than some of the older refrigerant types.
If your equipment on site is old or underperforming, you may wish to consider upgrading to a more environmentally friendly alternative to meet you own company’s sustainability objectives.