John Austin-Davies urges industry to ensure its voice is heard above ‘individuals and those with unknown motives.’
The FETA Annual Lunch was held at the Brewery, Chiswell Street, London, on the 18th April with over 620 people attending the event. The following is a transcript of Mr Austin-Davies’ speech:
“I have worked in the refrigeration industry for many years and I am honoured to be the current President of the British Refrigeration Association, and I am speaking to you today as the current Chairman of the FETA Board.
There are many subjects where FETA member companies have common interest, such as the European Ecodesign Directive, or the Carbon Trust Energy Technology list; and here our combined voice is important and influential.
Sometimes the subject is more focused on one area … such as the Renewable Heat Incentive, or Part L of Building Regulations, and the FETA support for the Associations most affected, gives their voice greater strength and effect.
To drive our commercial activities with the appropriate tools, it is important that FETA works to develop standards inside ISO, CEN and BSI; that Best Practice is determined and documented in appropriate guides; that key information about our market is available.
It is in this way that we act responsibly, we improve energy efficiency and work safely.
A particular strength of the BRA, that I know is recognised in other European countries, is the involvement of end-users, which is not typical elsewhere. This adds an important dimension to achieve good results, and my experience is that the end-users are active and energetic in key subjects, such as training.
We could not sit and enjoy the excellent meal today without extensive refrigeration, and it needs to be reliable. But a major concern we have, and maybe discussed on some tables today, is the level of training in the industry today, and what is necessary for the refrigeration systems of tomorrow.
In the BRA, or the Heat Pump Association or the HEVAC Air-Conditioning group, in fact anyone in the refrigeration supply chain, or providing maintenance or as a user, should be keenly aware of what is being discussed in the EU regarding the F- Gas legislation revision.
We talk about CO2 systems that are subcritical, or transcritical, but we must focus on the point that is most critical - the competence of the people who install, commission and maintain systems with new technology, and ensure their safety.
It is inside our industry where the greatest knowledge and experience lays, to determine what is the appropriate, correctly supported, sustainable rate of change; this voice must be heard over and above the voices of individuals or groups with unknown motives.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all FETA members, in particular to the individuals who give time and expertise to the benefit of our industry. Also to the FETA staff who make sure that their contribution is used effectively, and that our voice is heard in the right way, in the right place.