F-Gas: getting the industry talking

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Published: 31 October 2019


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Karl Richardson of Logicool addresses the audience at the F-Gas Myths and Realities event
More than 70 people attended an event designed to bring clarity to contractors and resellers when dealing with the F-Gas legislation.

Organised by distributor Logicool and hosted jointly with certification body REFCOM at the Hatfield HQ of Mitsubishi Electric, the two sessions covered a range of topics including Company F-Gas, online sales, terminology and compliance with the sometimes complex legislation.
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Graeme Fox of REFCOM explaining the difference between Company F-Gas and an F-Gas qualification
F-Gas Myths and Realities followed an event held in the Midlands earlier this year which led to the formation of REFCOM Elite for Suppliers, with Logicool the first company to be approved for best practice in refrigerant management at the supply end of the chain.

Online sales were again highlighted, with Logicool’s Karl Richardson citing a recent example where he was able to buy a split system by providing a fictional Company F-Gas certification number to the seller.

The Company F-Gas certificate is required in all instances for purchasing refrigerant and pre-charged equipment. Around 7,000 such certificates are currently issued – approximately 6,200 by REFCOM.

Graeme Fox of REFCOM agreed that the policing of online sales was not good enough and said it would need a heavy fine to send out a clear message. His advice was to take the order, but not hand over any equipment until evidence of Company F-Gas was supplied.

He also clarified the terminology, pointing out that the F-Gas qualification and Company F-Gas certification were two very different things. He said: “The qualification is under environmental legislation, it is not proof of technical competence. F-Gas doesn’t make a competent engineer… that only comes with experience and the proper training.’’

There was general guidance for delegates regarding reporting the loss of refrigerant, log books, and the labelling of new systems. Also covered was the likely impact of the ban on servicing existing equipment using virgin refrigerants with a GWP of more than 2500 from January 2020, plus a look forward to 2025 when that GWP threshold will reduce to 750 for new single split air conditioning system installations.

Richardson said: “The aim of this event, like the one in Birmingham, was to provide clear answers to complex legislation. It’s about trying to make sense of it for people. The turnout shows that people do want to do things the right way.’’

Speaking after the event, he added: “The feedback has been 100% positive and there is a growing number of contractors and persons of interest who are wishing us well with regards to making such a positive stance.

“We are not standing here selling product, we are engaging with manufacturers, suppliers and installers at the same time. When we hold these events and offer an open invitation to all, there is always uptake from all corners of the industry and we ultimately host representatives from all areas of the supply chain. We cannot talk as an industry if we want to talk to customers only, that makes no sense. We need to do this together.’’

Fox said that the industry had made huge strides in the last 10 years and it was vital to maintain progress. He added: “It’s important to get the industry talking. It is policing the regulation that is the problem, rather than the rules themselves. We hope this can help the industry to better police itself.’’

Logicool joins the Elite