Contractor & Service Technician Progress Group

The challenge: The number of contractors and technicians with natural refrigerant training and experience is limited, which in turn limits the growth of natural refrigerant installations. Due to lack of experience, project bids can be over-inflated, and end-users are often wary of committing to a new technology if they are not confident they can easily service and maintain that new equipment after installation.

Mission: Help increase the number of service contractors and technicians that are well-versed in natural refrigerant technology, equipment installation and maintenance.

Goals:

1. Partner with existing certification and training organizations to initiate (or support ongoing) efforts to create technician certifications for carbon dioxide, ammonia and hydrocarbon systems. Make those training and certification opportunities known to the refrigeration contracting industry.

Hydrocarbon online training is currently available from RSES. See our trainings page.

Commercial CO2 training is under development

2. Provide technical and policy input to the U.S. EPA during it's revision of the section 608 refrigerant management regulations. Specifically, provide clear guidance on updating the section 608 technician certification exam to include natural refrigerant questions. Once the propose changes to the section 608 program are final, every new technician that intends to handle HCFC or HFC-based refrigerants will have to have their 608 certification, which means it is a critical first step in introducing natural refrigerants to the next generation of technicians.

3. Support contractors interested in natural refrigerants by helping them find existing trainings and resources; work to build better lines of communication between end-users and contractors, such that end-users can find qualified contractors for natural refrigerants projects, and both parties can bring the requisite information to the table to generate accurate, cost-effective project bids.

Progress to date (as of December 20, 2016)

  • NASRC is supporting RETA in its creation of a commercial CO2 technician training curriculum, to be followed by a certification. Through our members we have expertise in all facets of CO2 equipment and are well position to help ensure a comprehensive commercial CO2 training that will be available to any technician. Working group meetings are underway.
  • Detailed comments submitted to the U.S. EPA in August, urging the agency to include natural refrigerants in the content for the section 608 technician certification exam, including the strong policy rationale for doing so.