UK: REFCOM, The UK’s main gas registration body has welcomed the Environment Agency’s decision to hammer a company with a fine of more than £1m for breaching the F-gas regulations.
As first reported by the Cooling Post last week, London-based firm IMO Gas Supplies Ltd was given civil penalties, totalling £1,011,500 for breaches of the F-gas regulation.
“This is precisely the kind of tough action we have been urging from the Environment Agency,” commented REFCOM’s head of technical Graeme Fox, who claimed it was a direct result of a tip-off from a REFCOM member.
He described the action as “a huge statement of intent” from the EA. However, we know this is not an isolated incident and the battle goes on against rogue traders who seem bent on flouting this vital environmental law for financial gain.”
REFCOM said its members had been frustrated by the apparent lack of enforcement of the F-agas regulations which puts them at a commercial disadvantage because unregistered firms were getting away with not investing in training and the systems needed to keep track of their gas usage.
“We have been telling the authorities about the need for visible policing for years and, hopefully, other offenders will take note and mend their ways,” said Fox.
“We are delighted to see an example being made of this company and hope this will make others think again about putting the quality of services and products at risk, endangering lives and property, and undermining the UK’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
REFCOM said it was also closely monitoring the use of illegally imported refrigerant gas in the UK.
“The continued use of illegal refrigerants by unscrupulous contractors is a very serious problem,” said Fox. “Not only do they damage the environment and atmosphere but are an extreme danger to life and property.
“This is another area where the authorities need to raise their game because there are still far too many ‘cowboy operators’ using illegal products that they buy online,” he said.
“REFCOM members are audited to ensure safety and legal compliance so they are rightly sick of being undercut by uncertified firms using dangerous practices and dodgy products.”