AREA-logoBELGIUM: AREA has hit out at European Commission suggestions that air conditioning and refrigeration contractors are ill-trained and dislike new technologies.

The European contractors’ body, which claims to represent more than 9,000 companies and a workforce of 125,000, has taken issue with the Commission’s comments in one of the working documents making up the EC’s Strategy on Heating and Cooling – a major plank in its desire for an Energy Union.

Echoing EPEE’s comments yesterday that energy efficiency should be key in any policy making, AREA also agreed with the Commission that installers had a key role as “intermediaries bringing together the technology and the user”.

However, AREA took exception to further descriptions of installers “being indirectly referred to as “bottlenecks” due to an alleged lack of training and supposed dislike of ‘non-conventional products’”.

“Such an assumption is generic, simplistic and unsubstantiated,” said AREA. “RACHP contractors,” it continued, “are well-trained professionals that use and propose every kind of technologies driven by energy efficiency and their customers’ requirements.”

PJ-easyAREA also expressed concern that the Commission’s working documents put too much emphasis on district heating and cooling.

“AREA strongly believes there is a place for all types of cooling technologies, simply because there is no ‘miracle technology’ that provides a one-size-fits-all solution. In this regard, the Commission’s working documents seem to put too much emphasis on district heating and cooling, which raises our concerns since it is not always the most suitable option.” The contractors’ body suggested that the EC’s heating and cooling strategy should be neutral towards technologies, promoting both large-scale and small-scale solutions depending on the situation.

“In addition,” said AREA, “it should ensure a consistent approach as regards various technologies in the different pieces of legislation regulating the sector, notably the EPBD, EED and RES Directives.”

The full AREA document is available here.

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