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Company certification for the handling of fluorinated greenhouse gases

Under current EU law (Regulation (EU) No 517/2014, including implementing regulations), certain work on refrigeration and air conditioning installations as well as heat pumps may only be carried out by certified personnel and certified companies. The certification of a company is only possible if the company employs one or more certified persons.

Company certification, together with restrictions on use and the gradual restriction of production, is an essential strategy with the objective to strongly reduce emissions fluorinated greenhouse gases. A particularly important component is the adequate training of personnel involved in the installation and maintenance of refrigeration and air conditioning systems. This approach is supported by personal certificates, which are issued according to clearly defined criteria by the responsible bodies of the WKO.

Fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases) were introduced as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (CFCs) from the 1990s, and have been regulated in the EU since 2006 to reduce emissions from products and equipment. F-gases are used as refrigerants in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment as well as heat pumps, in fire protection systems and in the production of insulating foams.

In Austria, a high level of training in the handling of fluorinated greenhouse gases is required. This will drive innovation in the sectors concerned and will lead to thedevelopment of more environmentally friendly alternatives in future. Responsible handling and competent maintenance of equipment will stabilise emissions from existing equipment and will eventually result in emission reductions in the coming years.