What’s an Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Inspection report and am I complying with the latest legislation?
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Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Inspections
At Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd we carry out Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Inspections in accordance with the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) TM44 guidance. TM44 is the approved assessment methodology for achieving compliancy under The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) Legislation.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) issued a publication called ‘A guide to air conditioning inspections for buildings’ back in December 2012. Some of the key updates are captured below along with a link to this guide:-
What are the legislative requirements?
Whoever controls the operation of an air conditioning system, such as ‘the owner, building operator or a tenant taking responsibility for a building and its services’ has statutory obligations and duties of care for the operation and maintenance of the system, including its efficiency and energy consumption under Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) legislation which was implemented on 4 January 2009.
The EPBD requires ‘regular inspection’ of air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kW and the inspections must take place at least once every five years.
We have summarised a four-stage time frame below:
For all new air conditioning systems installed on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must take place within five years of the date when the system was first put into service.
Since the 4 th January 2009 it has been a compulsory requirement for the first inspection of existing air conditioning systems with an effective rated output greater than 250kW to have, taken place. As a guide, an air-conditioning system (comfort cooling) serving a treated office building of 2,000m² is likely to be 250kW rated output.
Since the 4th January 2011, the first inspection of all air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output greater than 12kW must have occurred. Systems rated at over 12kW cooling output could comprise individual or multi-split systems, including centralised systems. The rated cooling output of a system may exceed 12kW where a number of individual units of less than 12kW rated output have common control. Refer to table 1 below for guidance for determining the size of your air-conditioning system for retail & office.
From 6 April 2012, it became a statutory requirement for the accredited air conditioning energy assessor to lodge all air conditioning inspection reports on the central non-domestic register. When the report is lodged it will be allocated a unique report reference number. Only air conditioning inspection reports, which were produced and lodged, on the central register from this date are valid reports.
Table one – Rule of thumb for
determining the size of your
|Activity||Likely to be over 12KW of cooling|
|Air-conditioned general office spaces (assuming typical levels of electrical equipment 8-10 m² per person).||200 m²|
|Air-conditioned offices with high levels of IT and electrical equipment.||100 m²|
|Office, call centre or dealing floors with high occupant densities of 6 m² or similar, and high levels of IT, communications or lighting loads may well fall within the scope at smaller areas.|
|Retail spaces with average levels of displaying lighting.||250 m²|
|Retail spaces with high levels of display lighting and illuminated cabinets.||150 m²|
The air conditioning inspection must be carried out by an accredited inspector belonging to a UK government approved air conditioning accreditation scheme. There are two levels (roles) of accredited air conditioning energy Inspectors. We have listed below the two levels of accredited assessors and we at Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd are accredited to provide both assessments: –
Also known as Level Three systems, these comprise the smaller installations typically known as splits or multi-splits, or simple variable refrigerant flow/volume (VRF/VRV) systems.
Complex or Level Four systems are large centralised air-conditioning systems such as variable air volume (VAV), centralised cooled water systems, fan coil units, chilled beams, chilled ceilings, and packaged comfort cooling equipment (VRF/VRV) systems.
Why act now?
It is the responsibility of the person controlling the operation of the air conditioning system to ensure that it is inspected at regular intervals and that air conditioning inspection reports are less than five years old. Those failing to meet deadlines (or who fail to commission, keep or provide an inspection report when required by Trading Standards Officers)
The Air Conditioning Inspection Reports are lodged on the Government database, it is very easy for Trading Standards to check remotely whether a building is compliant with legislation.
Non-compliance fines for TM44
The fines are based on the following non-compliance issues under the legislation:
- Failure to commission, keep or provide an air conditioning inspection report which has been lodged unto the Central Register face fines from £300 per offence (per a building / a unit) which could be repeated at the discretion of Trading Standards enforcement officer on a daily, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
- A further penalty can be issued for failure to provide a copy of the air conditioning inspection report when requested to an officer of an enforcement authority within seven days. This is fixed at £200 (per a building / a unit).
- In addition to these penalties, it will still be necessary to commission the documents; otherwise further offences will be committed. The Air Conditioning Inspection Reports must be lodged on the Government database and Trading Standards can check remotely whether a building has a report lodged unto the Government database, this enables the Enforcement Officer to check whether a public building is compliant with the legislation. Are you complying?
Delay in sale or rental transaction process due TM44 non-compliance?
If the building owner or manager wants to sell or let a building with an air conditioning system, which should have been inspected, then it is very likely that the legal advisors to the prospective tenant or buyer will require sight of the report during the legal processes prior to exchange of contracts. Failure to have a report, where one is required, may delay the transaction process.
Our Assessors at Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd
Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd are accredited inspectors and provide Air Conditioning Inspections as required under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.
We are experienced Air conditioning inspectors and qualified to deliver a reliable and flexible service. Provide bespoke advice to assist you in cutting energy costs and carbon emissions within your building portfolios. We only allow the highest calibre assessors to work with Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd.
We are locally available in North London, East London, South London, West London, Central London, Greater London Boroughs and carryout air conditioning inspections throughout the whole of the UK.
Should you have any queries regarding ‘Air Conditioning – TM44 Inspection’ or after a quotation, then please do contact Robert Corbyn MRICS Director from Low Carbon Energy Assessors Limited via e-mail Robert.Corbyn@LCEA.co.uk or on his Mobile +44 (0)780 441 4170.
We are Regulated by the RICS and our Surveyors / Energy Assessors are Security cleared under the (Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), formerly Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
Historical Air Conditioning Inspection – TM44 documentation: –
The UK Government’s guide on Display Energy Certificates for the Public Authority Building’s (includes Schools, Hospitals, Public Swimming Pools etc) describes the scope and requirements of the regulations applying to buildings occupied by a public authority and provides guidance on how these are applied.
Published by Communities and Local Government: London, 16 May 2011.
Government’s Guide to Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports for Public Buildings
Published by Department for Communities and Local Government: London, 2008.
Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, A guide to air-conditioning inspections for buildings
Published by Department for Communities and Local Government: London, July 2008.
A guide for businesses, Reducing the energy usage and carbon emissions from your air conditioning systems
Published by Department for Communities and Local Government: London, October 2007
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“This publication is the copy right of Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd and is not a statement of the law, but is intended to help building / energy & sustainability managers, owners and occupiers on how to apply the Regulations, what their responsibilities are and when Air Conditioning Inspection are required under the EPBD.”