F-Gas Regulation was introduced by the European Union to help control emission levels generated by fluorinated greenhouse gases (f-gases) such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Current f-gas regulation was introduced in January 2015 & replaced the previous original regulation which had been put in place since 2006.
The Regulation put in place 3 main measures:
- Banning the use of F-gases in equipment where there are less harmful options available. This could be in domestic/supermarket fridges, air conditioning or aerosols.
- Restricting the total amount of f-gases which can be sold within the EU. This will be phased down in steps so that it is 1/5 of 2014 sales by the year 2030.
- Reducing the emission of f-gases being used in current equipment through carrying out regular inspections, servicing & recovery of f-gases when the equipment’s life cycle has finished.
Due to the global warming potential of HFC gases refrigerant manufacturers have been given allocated quotas for the HFC gases they supply in Europe. A target has been put in place to cut current levels down to 21% by 2030. With the refrigerant R22 already phased out, the refrigerants R404A & R507 are also in the process of being phased out. Product & service bans have also been put into effect. From 2020, R404A & R507 refrigerants will be completely banned from stationary refrigeration systems which have a charge greater than 10kg.
F-gas regulation has lead to all companies having to keep records of gases & refrigerants used. The following information should be recorded:
- Whether the gas is recycled/reclaimed
- The quantity & type of gas installed
- The quantity of gas recovered
- The details of the person who carried out the inspection
- The results of leakage tests
- Measures taken place to recover & dispose of the refrigerant at the end of its life cycle