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New Qualification A Boost For Environment

26 April 2002

A new qualification for people handling refrigerants will help protect the ozone layer and guard against climate change, Energy Minister Pete Hodgson and Environment Minister Marian Hobbs, said today.

The Institute of Refrigeration, Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (IRHACE) has introduced the No-loss course for people working with the gases used in refrigeration plants and air conditioning units. The course covers techniques for avoiding losses during installation and maintenance of equipment and recovery of refrigerant gases when equipment reaches the end of its life.

The course is being launched by Mr Hodgson at IRHACE’s annual conference today (Friday April 26).

"The refrigeration industry has always encouraged good practice," Marian Hobbs said. "But this is the first time people have had a way of showing clients that they are qualified in this particular aspect of their work."

Good handling of refrigerants is important for the environment, she added.

"The fluorocarbon refrigerants that keep us cool and our food cold can do a lot of damage to the atmosphere," Marian Hobbs said. "Fluorocarbons are global warming gases, and the older ones, such as CFCs, damage the ozone layer as well. However, refrigerants only cause problems if they are allowed to escape."

An information campaign will begin next month, encouraging property managers, supermarket chains and other businesses to ask for the No-Loss Card when work is carried out on their systems.

"Increasing numbers of businesses want to be seen to be clean and green," Marian Hobbs said. "Using service people who have the No-Loss card is good environmental practice as well as being good business."

Ends

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