BELGIUM: In contrast to manufacturers’ group, the European contractors’ association AREA has welcomed the F-gas revisions proposed by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee.
While, manufacturers’ group EPEE and the EHPA have expressed concerns over the proposed equipment bans, the accelerated phase down, and its impact on the take up of heat pumps that could jeopardise the EU’s climate goals, AREA is upbeat about the certification and training proposals.
A comment on the AREA website says: “In particular, we are pleased to see that the proposal to extend the current F-gas training and certification scheme to alternative refrigerants, for which AREA has been advocating for, has been adopted with broad support.”
It maintains that training and certification will be required to avoid accidents, injury and fatalities involving systems with alternative greenhouse gas refrigerant systems.
“However, ensuring the widespread of training and certifications for those refrigerants across Europe will require time,” it adds, and point out that the timing “needs to be aligned with market and technological realities”.
AREA says it also regrets that the importance of extending periodical inspections and leak checks to prevent safety risks on technicians, personnel and end-users has not been recognised.
“Since they were introduced in the 2006 F-gas regulation, leak check requirements have proven to be effective and efficient, bringing lower leakage rates with positive climate and energy consumption impacts. With the increased use of alternative refrigerants, all of which present safety issues and many of which are flammable, regular leak checks are necessary to ensure safe and energy-efficient system operation,” AREA adds.
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