F-Gas

F-Gas and Energy Efficiency Inspection Legislation

All owners & operators of air conditioning & refrigeration equipment: are you aware of your legal responsibility? The European F-gas regulation is now law.

All air conditioning/refrigeration systems containing more than 3kg of fluorinated refrigerants (f-gases) must be properly monitored and maintained at least every 6 months to minimise leaks.

This means that some single split systems, all multi/vrf systems and all chiller installations must be under planned maintenance with an accredited air conditioning contractor registered with ACRIB/REFCOM.

  • The ‘operator’ takes responsibility for the compliance. This would normally be the building owner or could be a tenant of the building depending on
    the terms of the lease.
  • Systems with less than 3kg refrigerant do not require leak testing.
  • Systems with more than 3kg and less than 30kg refrigerant must be leak checked annually.
  • Systems with more than 30kg and less than 300kg refrigerant must be leak checked 6 monthly.
  • Systems with more than 300kg refrigerant must have a fixed electronic leak detection device and be leak checked 6 monthly.
  • Systems needing repair or deemed redundant must have their refrigerants removed by ACRIB personnel. (ACRIB being the register of competent refrigerant handlers).
  • Refrigerants removed from site must have the correct waste transfer documentation for REFCOM audit. (REFCOM being the register of competent refrigerant handling companies).
  • Repaired leaks must be re-checked one month following the repair.
  • Plant items must be labelled with refrigerant type and quantity.
  • Records of all systems above 3kg refrigerant must be kept detailing quantities, types, additions, removals, REFCOM company, ACRIB personnel, dates and results. (See F Gas log sheet)

Energy Efficiency Inspections (TM44 Report / EPBD Energy Performance Building Report / ACIR Air Conditioning Inspection Report)

All air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw (or combined system output) must be regularly inspected by an Energy Assessor. This includes any split / VRF / Chiller / AHU used for comfort cooling – not process or machine cooling (close control / server rooms etc). The inspections must be a maximum of five years apart.

The regulations require the first inspection of the affected air-conditioning systems to be carried out as follows:

  • for all systems first put into service on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must have taken place within five years of the date when it was first put into service
  • for other air-conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 250kW the first inspection must happen by 4 January 2009
  • for other air-conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 12kW the first inspection must happen by 4 January 2011

From 4 January 2011, if the person in control of the air-conditioning system changes and the new person in control is not given an inspection report, the new person in control of the system must ensure the air-conditioning system is inspected within three months of the day that person assumes control of the system. (For further information see Communities & Local Gov document ‘Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings’).