Policy & Interpretive Statements

Board Policy Regarding the Interpretation of N.C. Gen. Stat. 87-58(a)(1)

Adopted by the North Carolina State Board of Refrigeration Examiners
on November 8, 2013 Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. 150B-2(7a)

Whereas the Board was created for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of the Refrigeration Contractor statutes, and is statutorily responsible for establishing rules, regulations and policies necessary to fulfill its public protection duties; and,

Whereas the Board sought in the 2009 Legislative Session to streamline the regulatory process in order to stimulate job creation, and eliminate unnecessary regulation by amending the definition of “refrigeration trade or business” in N.C. Gen. Stat. 87-58(a) to clarify that it was not necessary to have a license from this Board in order to provide certain minimal services including the replacement of lamps, fuses, and door gaskets; and,

Whereas the House Bill proposing to accomplish that reduction in regulation was subsequently modified by the legislative drafting staff in a way that was intended to be nonsubstantive, and for formatting purposes only, and those changes were adopted and the legislation thereafter ratified and signed by the Governor; and,

Whereas the reformatting had the unintended consequence of apparently causing some confusion in the minds of those seeking to comply in good faith because two separate exemptions under the proposed language were merged into what could be construed as a single conditional exemption; and,

Whereas the original intent of the Board, the bill sponsors, the legislative committees, and the legislature was clearly to reduce the regulatory requirements although the reformatted version could be misconstrued to actually increase the regulations;

Therefore the Board adopts the following policy to clarify N.C. Gen. Stat. 87-58(a)(1): That the Board shall administer, interpret and enforce N.C. Gen. Stat. 87-58(a)(1) to mean that the mere “replacement of lamps, fuses, and door gaskets” are not included in the definition of “refrigeration trade or business” and that the mere provision of those services would not in and of themselves require licensure by this Board.

Interpretation of Insulated Panel Structure Under G.S. 87-58

Under G.S. 87-58, which defines refrigeration trade or business, an insulated panel structure becomes a refrigerated structure when the evaporator coil is installed and falls under the authority of the Board.

Interpretation of the meaning of ‘connection’ as used in G.S. 87-62

Under G.S. 87-58, Licensed General Contractors shall not be deemed to be offering or rendering refrigeration contracting services when bidding on general contracts unless or until there is a contract for the specific refrigeration services and/or application for a permit that includes such services, or the contract in question is substantially a refrigeration contract.

Interpretation of the meaning of ‘connection’ as used in G.S. 87-62. In context, the term ‘in connection’ means having a legal relationship which, by law, would impose direct legal liability for contractual obligations and regulatory compliance. Such persons would only include sole proprietors, partners, employees or corporate officers. Unless otherwise evidenced in writing, independent contractors would not be ‘connected’. Subcontractors could be connected but only if there is a written agreement documenting the legal relationship.

Interpretative Statement Regarding Geothermal Refrigeration Installations

With the increased acceptance of geothermal refrigeration system installations, there has been a misunderstanding on the licensing requirements of these installations. There is a commonly held belief in the industry that well contractors can perform the piping installations on geothermal installations, whether vertical or horizontal. The act of drilling the well and grouting the well casing is not governed by our licensing board; however, the actual installation of the piping is regulated by the Board’s Laws and Rules.

It is illegal for a well contractor to contract the geothermal piping installation even if the geothermal piping installation is subcontracted to a licensed refrigeration contractor. In addition it is illegal for a licensed refrigeration contractor to subcontract these installations from a well contractor.

Well contractors can only contract or perform that which is classified as well construction activities through their board.

–Questions or concerns should be addressed to the Board office.