Recent reports indicate that a large number of buildings still have not met these deadlines and are therefore running the risk of fines and prosecution due to lack of awareness or suitably qualified air conditioning inspectors. HoweCool are here to ensure that you are not caught out.
The aim of the inspection is to show how efficient your current system is and how it can be improved to reduce your costs and help the environment. All reports should, as a minimum, meet CIBSE TM44 standards – all HoweCool inspections and reports exceed the TM44 requirements. HoweCool air conditioning inspectors provide you with a comprehensive report showing what simple measures you can take to see immediate improvements in cost-efficiency and the effectiveness of your systems. We aim to make the process much simpler for our clients by asking for relevant information at the start to ensure that your inspection is undertaken quickly, cost effectively and over and above mere TM44 compliance standards using reports approved by the Department for Communities and Local Government to meet The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).
Our air conditioning inspectors will examine, amongst other things, the refrigeration and air movement equipment that make up the system, system controls, any documentation relating to the operation and maintenance of the system. Our air conditioning inspectors will estimate whether the system is suitably sized for the cooling loads and will provide advice on ways in which the performance of the system might be improved.
HoweCool is here to ensure that you are able to meet your legal obligations quickly and efficiently. We are able to meet the demands of the most complex inspection requirements and largest air conditioning systems.
Why air-conditioning inspections are required?
Having your air conditioning system inspected by an Energy Assessor is designed to improve efficiency and reduce the electricity consumption, operating costs and carbon emissions for your system. Energy inspections will highlight improvements to the operation of your existing systems or opportunities to replace older, less energy efficient systems or oversized systems with new energy efficient systems.
As the replacement of refrigerant is restricted in older systems (as established under other legislation), there is an additional incentive to improve or replace older systems with more modern energy efficient units.
Building owners and managers who control air conditioning systems have statutory obligations and duties of care in the operation and maintenance of air conditioning systems. The energy inspections are in addition to the normal activities/maintenance associated with the ownership and operation of air-conditioning systems.
Air conditioning systems can account for a large proportion of a building's energy usage. Having regular inspections carried out by a qualified assessor can improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption which in turn reduces capital operating costs and carbon emissions. Building owners and managers who operate air conditioning systems have statutory obligations under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to ensure that air conditioning inspections are conducted by qualified and accredited air-conditioning inspectors. All air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw must be regularly inspected by an energy assessor.
When air-conditioning inspections are required?
An air conditioning inspection is required if the effective rated output of systems within a building are more than 12kW.
a. If the system has an effective rated output of 250kW or more, the first inspection must be done by 4 January 2009.
b. If the system has an effective rated output of 12kW or more, the first inspection must be done by 4 January 2011.
What does an air-conditioning inspection cover?
The inspection will examine the refrigeration and air movement equipment that are part of air conditioning systems, and their controls. It will also examine any documentation that helps to understand the systems, or indicates the extent to which the systems have been maintained. The energy assessor is also required to estimate whether the system is suitably sized for the cooling loads in the treated spaces, and to provide advice on ways in which the performance of the system might be improved.
Access will be required to equipment that may be located in plant rooms, or outside the building, including rooftops or other locations with limited provision for access. In all cases the building owner or manager should agree the means for safe access with the energy assessor, following a health and safety risk assessment of the individual situation. The energy assessor may need to be accompanied by the responsible building manager or maintenance agent, at times.
What can I expect in the report?
The purpose of the inspection and report is to ensure that building owners or managers are provided with basic information regarding the efficiency of the air-conditioning systems that they control, together with advice on how the energy efficiency or effectiveness of these systems might be improved.
Acting on the advice in the inspection report and rectifying faults or making appropriate improvements, where this is attractive and cost effective, may result in immediate improvements to the effectiveness of air-conditioning systems or reduce the operating costs.
In some cases the costs of providing both heating and cooling may be reduced, in cases where these two systems are unnecessarily in use at the same time due to inappropriate controls or settings.
In many cases it will be clear that the building and systems are already well understood, documented and commissioned, with records available showing that the equipment has been regularly maintained to a good standard. However, in other cases the energy assessor may find it necessary to suggest relatively basic maintenance, such as cleaning or repairs, to equipment whose efficiency has evidently suffered through neglect.
Cleaning operations or adjustments to controls do not form part of the inspection procedure, even where they might be carried out simply and with significant immediate effect in improving efficiency. The inspection is not intended, or expected, to involve any physical work of this nature as this could change the level of professional risk to the energy assessor. Authority to carry out such work would need to be given as part of a separate arrangement by the building owner or manager to allow HoweCool to cary out the repairs.
Most reports are likely to contain advice with a combination of simple low or no cost measures and measures where some investment may be required either to apply the measures, or to investigate the potential to apply measures in more detail. The manager should also be provided with, or informed how to obtain, access to advice on the ongoing management of the systems, particularly that contained in existing free publications such as the Carbon Trust's Good Practice Guides.
Penalties for not having an air conditioning inspection report
Local authorities (usually by their Trading Standards Officers) are responsible for enforcing the requirements relating to air-conditioning inspection reports.
Failure to commission, keep, or provide an air conditioning inspection report when required by the Regulations means you may be issued with a penalty charge notice. Trading Standards Officers may act on complaints or undertake investigations. They may request you to provide them with a copy of your air-conditioning inspection report. If asked, you must provide this information within seven days of the request or be liable to a penalty charge notice for failing to do so. A copy of an air conditioning inspection report can be requested by an enforcement officer at any time up to six months after the last day for compliance with the obligation to make it available.