Defra has announced that 5,038 companies are now F-Gas registered and Refcom, the registration body for F-Gas certification, currently holds nearly 90 per cent of them.
This is the first time Defra has revealed the consolidated total number of certificated businesses, which indicates that the regulation is working with the rate of compliance between 85 and 90 per cent.
Refcom secretary Steve Crocker said: ““Those who have been involved with the original drafting of the F-Gas regulations (2001) have known that they would need to police themselves as Defra always said it did not have the resources to continually inform, update or prosecute the industry at large.
“Therefore, it is not news to say that there have been no prosecutions of non-compliant companies yet. The fact that the majority of companies are abiding fully by the regulations and complying with registration companies proves the conviction within the industry to ensure standards are maintained.”
In 2009 Refcom was appointed by the environment secretary to operate a compulsory certification register in compliance with the F-Gas Regulation.
Refcom was chosen to advise Defra on the creation of a Company Certification Scheme because it has operated the voluntary Refcom Register of Companies Competent to Manage Refrigerants since 1994.
This voluntary register still exists as Refcom Elite and its high membership figures also prove the industry’s firm stance on compliance and self-regulating F-Gases.
Speaking about the remaining 10 to 15 per cent who are not complying with the regulation, Mr Crocker said: “Defra asked its key stakeholders (such as Refcom, ACRIB and Trade Associations including FETA and B&ES,) to undertake the dissemination of information on their behalf, but if repeated attempts by those such as Refcom to convince errant companies to change their ways and conform went unheeded, then they would act.
“I have assurances from both the EA and Defra that they will chase down any and all non-compliance. The fact that Defra has not had to act is exactly why the industry should be so proud of itself.”