From 2021 forward only certified companies are allowed to carry out work on gas combustion installations. That is written in the legislative proposal Certification gas combustion installations that is accepted by the First Chamber on the 25th of June 2019. With this bill the Government wants to reduce the number of carbon monoxide victims and prevent unqualified fitters from working on gas stoves. In this blog we discuss more about the backgrounds and practical consequences this bill has for central heating installers in the future.
What’s the status of the current regulation?
Currently there’s no existing legislation that constrains working on water heaters, gas stoves and boilers. Mandatory certification used to exist, until the moment Secretary of Economic Affairs Hans Wijers wanted to stimulate free entrepreneurship during the first Kok Administration. From that time mandatory qualification systems were abolished and the market was flooded by so called ‘certified’ specialists who created a downward price movement with their floor prices. A disaster for fitters that always had their certificates and diplomas in order for safe working on gas combustion installations.
Why put new legislation in place then?
Because of all the safety measures in our gas network and gas combustion installations a relatively low number of accidents occur, but the Government finally acknowledges that every carbon monoxide victim is one too many. That is the main reason that from 2021 stricter rules are applied to work on gas appliances themselves and fitters will be forced to pass qualified diplomas to be allowed to work on gas appliances.
What consequences does the new Bill imply?
The specific demands for the installer and fitter are not known yet. However, what is already clear is that there will be requirements imposed on the expertise of the fitter as well as the way work is done to the gas combustion installations. This will mean that the fitter receives a CO-pass when the related oral- and practical exam is passed. Of course this CO-pass is also important when the inspection drops by for an audit. So it’s crucial to have the administration in order when the regulation starts.
The fitters have to take a skills test and from 2021 work on gas combustion installations has to be done according to a standard protocol. The most important element of this future standard protocol will be the extra safety check. A skilled installer should always check a gas combustion installation to rule out the risk of carbon monoxide getting out. Also the smoke exhaust and air supply should always be checked on safety.
To qualify for certification installers will have to be able to submit these working processes to the inspectorate and auditors in a clear fashion. When it also becomes clear that the responsible fitters have a CO-pass the certifying institution will probably provide a company with the related certification. With that certification your clients will see you as a reliable business that is able to carry out work to your gas stove, boiler or heating system!