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Industry must not risk its reputation

For example, you give house buyers help to find a deposit, which means more first-time buyers can afford to purchase a house. This in turn puts more money in the market, which pushes up house prices and means fewer first time buyers can afford them.

The problem is organisations seldom allocate enough time for thinking about what the wider implications of their new rules will be – they have a problem, they have a solution. They have tunnel vision.

What has caused me to turn my attention to this now is the ongoing reports in RAC about whether or not Brussels will change its proposal for the upcoming F-Gas regulations to ban the import of pre-charged equipment. 

The possibility that the ban might be dropped is apparently due to pressure from manufacturers on the basis that it could interfere with manufacturing processes.

However, as a major manufacturer we really do not have a problem one way or the other. I said the same a year ago when the proposal first started getting challenged. We will continue our policy of only selling directly to properly certificated installers and would urge our distributors to do the same, despite the fact the equipment no-longer carries any refrigerant.

While banning pre-charged systems may make life a bit more challenging for the production people, as a sales and marketing person I am more concerned with the reputation of our equipment and that of the industry as a whole.

We have already been through one nightmare phase of cowboy installers and DIY catastrophes and I do not want to see that return, and I have to agree with the view of cooling contractors’ association AREA that overturning the ban “will leave the problem of non-professional installation unsolved”.

If “non-professional” installations lead to increases in leaks or, even worse for us as an industry, badly designed and installed systems that simply do not work as expected, it is not the cowboys or the bodgers that will get the blame; it is the air conditioning industry and our equipment.

We have been a target for environmentalists for decades – something we are just starting to overcome. Let’s not risk this by allowing those without the proper training to handle refrigerant.

Julian Brunnock is sales and marketing director of FG Eurofred, the face of Fujitsu in the UK

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