Important customer information




As a certification scheme, REFCOM is proud to work alongside the Environment Agency (EA) and DEFRA to make sure F gas regulations work for our industry, and continue to drive up standards. As part of this commitment, we met with DEFRA last week to discuss a few key industry issues.

During our meeting we discussed the importance of checking qualifications and competence when supplying gases. Suppliers and distributors have a legal responsibility to check the operative purchasing gases has original F gas certificates or an ACRIB SKILLcard.

As a scheme, we’re worried about the development of alternative ID methods, claiming to be acceptable representation of a company’s F gas certification. DEFRA are also concerned by this, as non compliant ID cards:

  • are not acceptable as a certificate,
  • are non-attributable to qualified personnel, and
  • could be used fraudulently if they got into the hands of non-qualified personnel, breaching the F Gas Regulation.

DEFRA confirmed that the ONLY acceptable proof of F gas qualification is either through the production of original F gas company certificates, or an ACRIB SKILLcard. 

You can find out more about this in the REFCOM guide to supply, including a flowchart to display behind trade counters.

In other areas, there are still reported cases of split systems being bought by non-qualified companies and installed illegally, often badly, so that legitimate REFCOM registered companies have to go in after the installation and put right the many deficiencies in install quality.

These installations are illegal because the F Gas regulation, since the review of 2014, have demanded that evidence of competent, legally certified installations must be provided. Article 11(5) aims to stop the selling of split systems that would then be installed by non-certified companies or personnel. End users are still allowed to buy a pre-charged split system but they MUST provide evidence of who will carry out the installation and their registration number for the authorities to check. It is a legal requirement that the seller check this evidence, although it is clear this is not always happening.

After the cases that REFCOM has been taking to DEFRA and the EA (the enforcing body) new legislation is now being drafted to give the EA increased powers of prosecution against non-conforming companies and end users under increased domestic civil penalty laws to help make this sort of behaviour a thing of the past.







From 31 December 2009 no more virgin R22 refrigerant can be sold in the UK, in fact it will be against the law to even use virgin R22. Any virgin R22 still in the UK after that date must be sent for destruction, leaving only reclaimed R22 available to maintain existing systems. From1st January 2015 even reclaimed R22 will not be allowed to be used.


There are drop in replacement refrigerants but may necessitate the changing of some components of the refrigeration system for example driers, expansion valves, oil. We would be pleased to advise you on this possibility.


 Many systems will need to be renewed completely as some are very old systems now and may be uneconomical to maintain in use.

 The end of R22 availability represents an opportunity for old , inefficient systems to be renewed. New R22 equipment was phased out in 2003 and so remaining equipment will be at the end of its life shortly. There are energy consumption savings to be made on the new generation of equipment available now and even some ECA tax allowances. Please feel free to ask for details.

Doing nothing is not an option, so make sure your business has a phase-out plan in place.

Remember should you need to replace your current system , we will be happy to quote you for a new efficient system complete with installation by REFCOM registered engineers.




01 Jan 2004 Ban on the introduction and supply of new air conditioning systems operating on R22

31 Dec 2009 Supply of new R22 refrigerant used to service RAC equipment is banned

01 Jan 2010 Only reclaimed or recycled R22 refrigerant may be used from January 2010 until 31 Dec 2014 

01 Jan 2013 Following the phase-out, the cost of R22 refrigerant could quadruple in price year on year, and supplies of recycled R22 could run out by 2013

01 Dec 2014 Systems operating on R22 refrigerant will be classed as 'not serviceable.'

31 Dec 2014 A complete ban on R22 refrigerant, including reclaimed or recycled, comes into force



Ozone is a type of molecule that is made from three connected oxygen atoms, which is written in scientific terms as O3. It is mostly found in the stratosphere, and absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation tyhat would otherwise find its way down to us and cause a variety of hazards for humans, animals and plants.Stratospheric ozone is different from ground level ozone which contributes to smog in cities.

Ozone is constantly being made in our atmosphere, mostly by collissions of oxygen molecules (O2) and (O). It is also continually being destroyed by similar collissions between O3 molecules and O atoms, resulting in pairs of O2 molecules. In theory then there should be a balance between ozone creation and destruction, resulting in a constant layer of ozone.


CFC molecules are made of chlorine, fluorine and carbon, and HCFC molecules also have hydrogen atoms attached. When these molecules are emitted to the atmosphere they are eventually broken down  into their individual atoms. The chlorine atoms then react with the ozone and cause ozone destruction to happen faster than ozone creation.


Because stratospheric ozone protects us from harmful UV rays, ozone depletion is a major concern for life on earth. The damaging effects of depletion include an increase in skin cancers and cataracts, and even a reduction in food crop yields.


Using a newer non depleting refrigerant such as R410A in air conditioning applications which is not a CFC or HCFC means that it emits no chlorine to the atmosphere and thus does not interact with the ozone layer as it breaks down.


Courtesy of MHI