F-gases technicians’ competence
cannot be overlooked, but on the contrary it has to be a fundamental discriminating factor: this is what AREA
, the European HVACR organization that from over twenty years gives voice to over 9 thousand small/medium companies of the sector and about 125 thousand people all over Europe, wishes to specify.
The discussions on changes of Regulation 842/2006 are entering the last stage and AREA has emanated a press release in order to remind decision-makers the importance of technicians’ competence and certification. The European organization has, in fact, followed the revision Regulation’s developments since the beginning, in 2010.
Initially, the European Commission suggested to ban pre-charged refrigerant in order to secure the professional installation of machineries equipment and to preserve the integrity of the phase-down project of the substitution of traditional f-gases with the last generation ones.
At first reading, the European Parliament’s Environmental Committee totally approved the procedure which was later opposed by the EU Council analysis: now, the risk is that the compromise to be reached from the Council’s discussions (then negotiated by the Parliament) do not completely solve the non-professional installation matter.
The decision would have not only environmental consequences, in contradiction with the Regulation’s objectives, but it would also negatively affect the companies of the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pumps’ sector which is mainly composed of small companies occupying 230 thousand people in Europe.
The idea AREA proposes is to extend the present program of fluorinated greenhouse gases’ delivery in containers even to plants with pre-charged non-hermetically sealed equipment. Considering that, actually, fluorinated greenhouse gases can be delivered and received exclusively by companies and certified technician, the extension of this measure could guarantee that only certified professionals can receive such an equipment and, therefore, that the charge would be effected by experienced personnel and following the environmental security conditions.
“It seems that plants’ professional installation is going to be put in the second place”, clarifies Marco Buoni, vice president of AREA, “that is why we want to sensitise all the communal Governments saying that an installation made by non-professional personnel leads to serious environmental and economical risks.” In fact, a wrong installation could cause more refrigerant leaks, more environmental pollution and more risk of missing or incorrect compilation of plants’ registers.
“The clarification AREA made has the purpose of remembering that the plants using f-gases can be considered as refrigerant tanks”, continues Buoni. “Today, tanks can be delivered only to personnel and companies qualified, and even plants, always charged by manufacturers, could be delivered to qualified personnel only, avoiding all the problems related to security and charge precision”.
The first reading of the European Parliament will be on 13th January 2014 and it will be planned the next steps for the Regulation’s approval, depending on the developments of this first meeting. The sector’s representatives hope in any case the approval of everything by the end of the European legislature (May 2014) in order to avoid the further postponement of the Regulation’s acceptance.