F Gas regulation is probably the most significant change to affect the HVAC industry in many years. Keeping track of assets and service due dates is no longer the most difficult task Air conditioning and Refrigeration service companies face.
Now added to the list of headaches is keeping track of gas usage and leakage to an unprecedented level.
So what are the difficulties do service providers, facilities managers and even asset owners themselves face in the increasingly legislated world of HVAC?
- Asset owners, that’s anyone who owns or operates HVAC equipment now invariably bear ultimate responsibility for correct record keeping in relation to their equipment.
- Service providers hold a burden of professional care to ensure they are both qualified and deliver the service correctly.
- Large asset owners are demanding innovation and more accurate electronic methods for lodging, storing and retrieving F Gas service certificates.
Switching to paperless record keeping and mobile workflow management helps in a number of ways:-
Firstly it is just good ecological and environmental practice! If you own hundreds of thousands of assets then keeping volumes of paper certificates and log sheets is just unacceptable, expensive and some may argue irresponsible from a corporate environmental perspective.
Second to the beautiful planet we call home is the basic truth that it is just cheaper and more efficient to do it electronically. Just how much can be saved is quite staggering and a recent survey across a typical 2 years of a SME Air con company managing around a 1000 assets gave consistent savings in the 60% + region over using paper forms.
Thirdly is the reduced risk that is inbuilt into electronic F Gas management. As the penalty for non compliance becomes very real and government agencies seek to use the threat of legal action to make offenders take note, asset owners will become increasingly concerned that the service provider they employ is not only capable of doing the work but is also capable of proving they have done the work. Electronic access to F Gas certification documents drives a more efficient, risk free process and allows service providers to deliver innovative and cost effective solutions that work at scale.
Fourth in the list is management of staff and the protection of the precious F Gas. F Gasses are unlike many other commercial consumable products in so far as if you loose some, a simple “get some more” may not protect you from potential legal and financial implications. Green House Gasses (GHG) are seriously environment damaging and F Gas regulations are focussed heavily on tracking their release into the atmosphere with strict rules. Unlike a box of nails, if a bottle of gas goes missing or more interestingly some of its contents, then the bottle contract holder may face unwelcome attention at some point. Electronic tracking of not just the bottle cylinder but its actual contents is essential not optional.
One final reason to consider switching to paperless F Gas management is interoperability. Many service providers utilise sub contractors to deliver service work for their clients. Here is were mobile devices and centralised services stand out from anything that has gone before… With the addition of a simple F Gas app to an engineers device, they can easily connect securely to different systems to download and synchronise work sheets, capture asset information and complete work on an ad-hoc basis.
So all in all its, cheaper, faster, more reliable, less error prone, expandable and more environmentally friendly to move from pen and paper to electronic F Gas record keeping.