Counting the Cost of F-Gas Non-Compliance as EA Issue £1m Fine

Counting the Cost of F-Gas Non-Compliance as EA Issue £1m Fine

News that the UK Environment Agency has just fined a company £1.1 million for breaching F-Gas regulations clearly shows how vital it is that your engineers are fully trained and that you keep accurate records of the work that they have completed.

In this blog we outline some easy steps to ensure compliance with F-Gas Compliance software. For a guided tour of this module, book a free demo session with one of our experts; but first let’s reflect on what this action from the Environment Agency means for our industry.’

What REFCOM Had to Say Regarding the Fine

Speaking about the fine, Graeme Fox, REFCOM’s head of technical, said: “… it is a huge statement of intent from the EA. However, we know that 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.”

The action came as result of a tip off from a REFCOM member and shows that those transgressing the legislation now have nowhere to hide.

Mr. Fox continues: “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.”

Clearly this was a serious breach of the regulations which was probably deliberate in order for the company to cut costs and make money. In today’s world where we can only too clearly see the effects of climate warming, it is not acceptable and it is good to see that the Environment Agency is putting its house in order and taking enforcement of the regulations seriously.

How to Ensure That You are Compliant

Fortunately, most of us in our industry do take our roles seriously and strive for compliance. A simple check for your customers who commission service of refrigeration, HVAC or heat pump equipment is to check that their supplier is F-Gas certified and registered. This means that all of that supplier’s engineers who install, commission, repair and service equipment hold the relevant designated qualifications.

If your business has new personnel who need training, the industry body REFCOM offers F-Gas category 1 or 2 qualifications from a network of training centres across the country.

Assuming that your engineers are fully qualified, the legislation demands that they must track and record any movement of refrigerant gas where the system charge is equivalent to 5 tonnes or more of CO2 in an official logbook. You also need to have a back-office system that shows all the work completed on equipment.

To be clear each system with 5 tonnes or more of CO2 must have a logbook, while it’s good practice for every system to have a logbook. You can of course choose to complete paper-based systems, but collecting and recording all the data that you need, finding the right logbook and then ensuring and double checking that the information recorded is correct is onerous to say the least. And then you need to make sure that whoever is inputting the data into the back-office system can read the engineer’s handwriting and does not make any errors when copying it across.

Clearly this is not only time consuming, but the chances of errors are high and therefore so is the risk of being unintentionally non-compliant.

Speaking about the risk of making an error Mr Fox said: “It is vital that HVAC engineers are fully compliant with F-Gas legislation and there have been occasions where data has been missed or the logbook has been incorrectly filled in so that a job was not compliant. This is generally an honest mistake and people may not even realise that they have not met the legislative needs.”

In today’s electronic age this data collecting and recording exercise is best carried out using equipment that everyone will have in their pocket – a smartphone.

Book a FREE Demo Call today

Learn how our software can improve your business operations and help you to ensure F-Gas compliance:

  • Online screenshare session with one of our expert consultants
  • Remotely accessible for you and your colleagues at a time convenient to you
  • No commitment and no card details required to book

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Acquiring Software for Fast and Accurate F-Gas Compliance

Gas engineer using our new REFCOM software module will help to ensure F-Gas compliance

This is where our new REFCOM software module will help to ensure F-Gas compliance. Developed in collaboration with REFCOM, it enables engineers to input the relevant information into an App on their phone or tablet which will then automatically populate the online logbooks and the back-office systems to save time and avoid any errors.

And for real efficiency savings why not consider using QR codes to identify individual assets within an HVAC, refrigeration or heat pump system since the engineer can then simply scan the equipment to find out about its service history and the work that needs doing. This will also automatically find the form for that asset to make it easier and faster to complete and record the job. With each asset in a system having its own logbook, automating the track and trace system will save hours of time so that the engineer can complete more work.

Better yet if you are already a REFCOM member you will receive a free user licence for the new F-gas software module which includes a back-office reporting system, logbooks and the facility to add the mobile app for an engineer. This allows an organisation to plan and schedule future maintenance work and customise and produce reports in whatever format they want.

Get F-Gas Compliance Right

Developed in partnership with REFCOM, we have updated our F-Gas Tracking Module, becoming the industry standard in F-Gas compliance. Feel confident that as your business grows, you can remain compliant and continue to exceed your customer’s expectations::

  • Digitally manage all stock control of all gas bottles
  • Automatically updated F-Gas Logbook
  • Data synchronisation of every service visit, F-Gas transaction & leak check
  • Generate compliance certificates and data for clients
  • Make audit information readily available for clients to view
  • Fully accessible in real-time for engineers and back office staff
  • Ensure compliance in the field

Book your free demo call for a guided tour of our F-Gas compliance software and to see how Joblogic can ensure your company avoids breaches and remains F-Gas compliant.

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