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defra eac capAir Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board (ACRIB) comment on the Government response to the Environmental Audit Committee report on UK Progress on Reducing F-Gas Emissions

25th July 2018

The Government published its response to the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee report on the effectiveness of the UK implementation of the F Gas emissions on 12th July 2018.  ACRIB member organisations have been following the inquiry and report closely having participated in the Environmental Audit Committee investigation, providing written evidence, attending to give verbal evidence and supplying follow up material.  The EAC report “UK progress on reducing F-Gas Emissions” was in fact published on 18th April 2018 and ACRIB immediately arranged a meeting with DEFRA officials to seek their support for making training in the handling of flammable refrigerants mandatory, and to discuss their action to restrict illegal sales of F Gas as well as their proposed awareness campaign in the convenience store sector.  During the meeting the attention of DEFRA representatives was drawn to a training specification for handing of flammable refrigerants which covers lower flammables such as R32 and A2Ls as well as hydrocarbons which ACRIB had produced earlier that year.

ACRIB Chairman, Graeme Fox of BESA commented “One of the key recommendations of the EAC report was that Government work more closely with industry to deliver solutions to ensure effective implementation of the F Gas Regulation and reduction of emissions. One of the critical issues for our industry is training in low GWP alternatives, and this is an issue that ACRIB has been swift to address. However more support is needed from Government to improve training take up and increase skills levels in the industry.”

At the ACRIB Board meeting in July the member organisations noted the Government’s published response to the EAC report therefore with great interest, and have prepared the following statement:

  1. ACRIB organisations would support the Government line that broad adherence with the EU-derived F gas Regulation is the most sensible way forward in the context of BREXIT. Indeed the application of the F gas quota, applying as it does to companies and not nations, is already a challenging enough prospect and adding extra complexity by the UK embarking on a different set of rules would be unwise.

 

  1. UK industry has been proactive in dealing with the issues stemming from the changes brought about by the F Gas Regulation and has worked closely with DEFRA and the EA and stands ready to offer further support. ACRIB would, of course, like to see both departments given greater prioritisation for resources by Central Government. In the interim, we will continue to highlight blatant infringements of regulations, particularly by on-line retailers.

 

  1. Likewise, although the Government response indicated a willingness to work with industry on training ACRIB firmly believe that this lacks teeth and only mandatory qualifications and the establishment of a national register of certified individuals would offer any real prospect of immediate impact and enduring success.

 

  1. Whilst ACRIB members were encouraged to note the support being offered in terms of working with industry to reduce the barriers to the use of low GWP refrigerants in heat pumps but would make the additional observation this need also applies to other sectors e.g. air-conditioning. 

Several training organisations are known to be developing qualifications and courses for flammable refrigerants based on the new ACRIB specification and details of these new courses when available will be added to the ACRIB website at www.acrib.org.uk   Any training organisations interested in obtaining a copy of the specification should contact  acrib@acrib.org.uk for further details.

For full details of the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee inquiry including copies of their report and the Government response see https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environmental-audit-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/uk-progress-on-reducing-f-gas-emissions-17-19/

 

Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry Board member organisations

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