Gas Regulations

This page provides an overview of the regulations
and legislation governing gas installations.
If you are not aware of your obligations as
an operator of gas appliances you can learn
more about the requirements and obligations here.

What are F Gases and why should I know about them?

(Extracts taken from Defra)

In summary, if you operate any refrigerated or air-conditioning (RAC) equipment which contains Flurinated Greenhouse (F gas) or Ozone Depleting (OD) gases, you must be aware of the legislation surrounding these gases.

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases) are powerful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming if released into the atmosphere. Their effect can be much greater than carbon dioxide. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) are all types of F gas.

Users of stationary refrigeration and air conditioning (RAC) systems are the largest single source of F gas emissions, representing nearly 27% of the 2005 UK total. In terms of emissions, the most significant sectors are supermarket refrigeration, industrial refrigeration and buildings air conditioning.

F gases form part of the Kyoto Protocol’s ‘basket’ of greenhouse gases. Action to contain, prevent and reduce emissions of F gases is being taken by the EU as part of its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. The UK and the EU, are signatories to the protocol and the UK is therefore committed to reducing its emissions.

In 2006, the EU introduced the EU F gas Regulation. The obligations in this regulation are fleshed out by a number of European Commission Regulations that provide extra detail and introduce minimum requirements which must be complied with.

The EU framework has been fully implemented in Great Britain by the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Regulations 2009 (FGG Regulations 2009). Northern Ireland has its own similar regulations.
Full details of Great Britain’s F Gas Regulations can be found here 

Who does this affect?

Defra class an Operator as the individual (or group) who meet any of the following descriptors:

  • Free access to the system, which entails the possibility to supervise its components and their
    functioning, and the possibility to grant access to third parties;
  • The control over the day-to-day functioning/running (e.g. take the decision to switch it on or off);
  • The powers (including financial power) to decide on technical modifications (e.g. replacement of a component, installation of a permanent leak detector), modification of the quantities of F gases in the system, and to have checks or repairs carried out.

So if you operate a business within the UK which uses refrigeration or air-conditioning (RAC) equipment, you are liable to complay with the UK’s F gas Regulations.

The list of F gases can be found here

What are my obligations as an Operator?

All operators of RAC systems that use refrigerants containing F gases must comply with obligations in the EC F gas Regulation. The actual obligations depend on the amount of refrigerant in each separate system. The following table summarises the obligations for each separate RAC system containing F gas refrigerant:


Applicability to RAC Systems (for systems using F gas Refrigerants)

Take steps to prevent F gas leakage and repair detected leakage as soon as possible

All stationary systems

Regularly check for leakage.

Annually for stationary systems 3 kg to 30 kg.
Every 6 months for systems 30-300 kg.
Annually for systems > 300 kg.

Fit automatic leak detection system.

Stationary systems above 300 kg

Keep certain records about refrigeration plant that uses F gases.

Stationary systems 3 kg or more

Recover F gases during plant servicing and maintenance, and at end of plant life.

All stationary systems

Use appropriately qualified personnel to carry out installation, servicing and maintenance, and leakage checking. Have company certification if employing personnel to undertake installation, maintenance or servicing of RAC systems. Further obligations for companies employing these personnel or wishing to take delivery of containers of F gas.

All stationary systems

Label new equipment adjacent to service point/information & in instruction manuals.

All stationary systems

Placing on the market of non-refillable containers used to service equipment is banned from July 2007, except for those shown to be manufactured before that time.

All systems

What is the easiest way to make sure I comply with these regulations?

As a Cool Projects Ltd customer, you don’t need to worry about any of the above as we are a registered handler of F gases. This means we can service all of your equipment safely and provide you with all of the correct paperwork to ensure that you don’t fall fowl of these regulations. Not all Refrigeration and Air Conditioning providers are yet to become registered so you must be careful when choosing who supplies your RAC equipment.

My Refrigeration / Air Conditioning system is more than 3 years old and outside of warranty, is it still safe to use?

Although your system is probably perfectly safe to use, if your system contains any of the F gases listed on the Defra website then you must make sure you are covered by the F gas regulations.
If your system is 5 years old or more, there is a risk that it contains a gas which is no longer produced. These gases (such as R22 and R12) have become illegal to use in their virgin form to maintain or service ACR equipment. Recycled R22 can be used until 31st December 2014 but it is expensive as it is now becoming scarce.
Cool Projects can service and handle all of the above gases in a safe manner so you can trust us to handle your servicing requirements.

Should I replace my older unit?

That is ultimately your decision. Cool Projects have found that devices which use the older HCFC gases are not only more costly to maintain, they will also be much less efficient than those using the new gases. Older gases by their nature do not function as well as the more modern gases. Through the rapid progression of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning industries, you will also find the technology offered in newer devices results in much lower running costs.

All of the equipment which Cool Projects supply uses the new gases (such as R404A) which are non-ozone depleting and much more efficient within refrigeration systems than the older gases.

If you do decide to replace your older unit, you must make sure that either your new supplier or yourself are registered to dispose of your older equipment safely and legally. Due to the toxic materials which are used in the manufacture of (specifically older) refrigeration equipment, they must be dismantled safely and recycled or disposed of correctly. There are a number of companies who can do this for you although be aware of the costs, depending on the size and type of unit, it could cost several hundred pounds.

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