IoR-ducumentUK: Over 36,000 individuals and 6,200 companies in the UK have become certified under the F-gas regulations, according to figures from the Environment Agency.

The figures, including details of enforcement actions carried out, are contained in one of a number of new bulletins available from the Institute of Refrigeration.

The Environment Agency, the body responsible for compliance with the F Gas Regulations in the UK, reveals that the vast majority – over 33,000 – have taken a Category 1 qualification, with smaller numbers taking the leak check, recovery or small equipment versions only. In the past 6 months alone there has been an increase of 17% in certificates issued.

Having faced criticism from sections of industry for a perceived lack of action in pursuing those who flout the regulations, the Environment Agency reveals that, since April 2014, 23 Information Notices legally obliging companies to provide information have been issued, 66 investigations carried-out, two companies warned for promoting DIY/non-qualified installation of F-gas equipment, two Enforcement Notices issued to legally oblige companies to carry-out an action, two Advisory letters and one warning letter issued, with one interview under caution as part of case-file investigation.

Initial enforcement activity is said to have targeted working with the highest emitters to ensure maximum impact. Information Notices are used to gather evidence and identify potential breaches to the regulations. Those that fail to respond to the Environment Agency’s requests can be issued with a legal Enforcement Notice. Those that still fail to comply may then face a fine up to the statutory maximum or from 2015 an unlimited fine set proportionally by the crown court.

The document, which is available free to download, is one of a number made available by the Institute’s Service Engineers’ Section. Also included are a number of practical guidance notes on topics including reclaiming HFCs and Environment Agency guidance on R22.

Reclaiming refrigerants is a new IoR Bulletin looking at why reclaiming HFC refrigerants is going to be increasingly important for the industry. Along with AC summer operating efficiency tips, these documents are free to members or £6 to non-members.

Also from the Environment Agency, and free to download, is important information aimed at operators of equipment containing HCFCs – including R22. This covers the legal obligations and considerations that plant owners still using HCFCs must be aware of.

All IOR members can download these items free as part of their membership and are encouraged to distribute them to engineers, technicians and students.

The documents can be viewed or downloaded from the IoR website.