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Action demanded as illegal AC sales persist

UK: Despite alerting UK authorities, contractors continue to reveal instances of air conditioners being sold to the general public in direct contravention of the European F-gas regulations.  

Under the F-gas regulations (517/2014), non-hermetically sealed equipment charged with fluorinated greenhouse gases can only be sold to an end user where evidence is provided that the installation is to be carried out by an F-gas certified company/individual.

Karl Richardson, MD of Derbyshire-based air conditioning distributor Logicool, maintains that despite providing evidence of illegal sales to the Environment Agency last year, instances of sales to the general public in contravention of the F-gas regulation persist.

A survey conducted by Logicool amongst approximately 50 contractor clients in 2019 revealed that almost all had been approached to install equipment which appeared to have been purchased illegally. Most of them had received multiple requests.

A quick survey amongst five, randomly selected contractor clients yesterday suggest that little has changed despite previously supplying evidence to the Environment Agency.

All five contractors confirmed that they had continued to be approached to install equipment purchased online this year. One contractor reported around 25 such approaches this year. All except one, refused such work.

Not surprisngly, the contractors question the relevance of F-gas certification when it is not being policed and enforced.

Referring to his original survey, Karl Richardson states on his Linkedin page: “I contacted the Environment Agency in December last year to present these findings and to date I am still waiting for an audience.”

Richardson insists that the issue needs to be addressed. “We were talking about improving standards when I joined this industry in 1992. It seems that we are still having the same conversation today almost thirty years later.

“I’m not sure whether my/our concerns will ever get heard by the Environment Agency. I do think that our industry is tired of illegal sales though and we need some action to report as many illegal sales as possible.”

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