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F-Gas regulation needs Europe-wide harmonisation and fines

F-Gas regulation needs to be better harmonised across Europe, requiring the implementation of control mechanisms, including substantial fines, to ensure effective emission reductions.

EPEE, the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment, also identifies regulation stipulated leakage controls, the reduction and disappearance of the unprofessional or ‘cowboy’ element and  operators taking their obligations seriously, as key elements in reduction.

Despite ongoing issues regarding the national sign up, it identifies the UK, as well as Germany Belgium and Denmark as making positive progress in F-Gas registration; however this is not evident across the board - Italy and Ireland have yet to establish certification.

Graeme Fox, president of AREA, the European association of refrigeration contractors, says: “In countries where the F-Gas regulation has already been implemented contractors have observed a clear decrease in leakage rates. Leakage tests are being carried out more often, problems are identified at an earlier stage and, consequently, emissions are avoided.”

Fox identifies creating awareness as a key factor “Very often operators are not aware of their obligations outside leakage control and logbook keeping.”

A key factor in the success of the regulation in countries is the degree of enforcement applied, or not, as the case may be. In France controls have been carried out since 2009 and infringements can attract fines up to 75,000 Euro and two years in prison

EPEE concludes that the sector is on track, though it’s too early to effectively measure the regulations success in terms of emission reduction, however it does point to the benefits of the Dutch model STEK, which has been running for 18 years and reduced emissions from over 20 per cent to 3.5 per cent, to see CLICK HERE

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