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CIBSE backs lodging of mandatory inspections

The Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers is backing a government consultation to make it mandatory to log all air conditioning inspections.

Mandatory inspections form part of Communities and Local Government consultation, Making
Better Use of Energy Performance Certificates and Data, which launched this month and runs until 25 May.

There are currently no legal requirements for air conditioning reports to be lodged on a central register, although all must be lodged with the inspector’s accrediting body.

But CIBSE said this can cause some confusion, with some quite misleading claims that reports are not valid if they are not lodged.

As a result, CIBSE is backing proposals for mandatory lodgment of air conditioning inspections, which it said would bring increased clarity to the marketplace and ensure that all accredited energy assessors are on a level playing field.

CIBSE LCC Steering group chairman Bryan Franklin said: “Air conditioning inspections alreadyhave the lowest compliance rates – well below 5 per cent – and if these issues are not resolved, it is difficult to see how the industry can increase compliance and how the carbon emissions reductions expected from the introduction of air conditioning inspections can be delivered.”

Buildings currently account for 50 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions, and air conditioning installations account for up to a third of energy consumed in buildings which have one installed.

Currently under the 2007 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive owners/occupiers are required to:
Have had any new air conditioning installations or those above 250kW inspected by January
Have any air conditioning installations above 12kW inspected by January 2011 and every five years thereafter.

Until a mandatory requirement is in place, accreditation schemes can choose whether or not to lodge their inspectors’ reports with Landmark.

This is creating confusion among assessors and is affecting clients – who are being encouraged to base the decision to use an energy assessor on lodgement preferences, rather than the quality of service offered by the assessor.

The purpose of the directive is to provide owners with information on the performance of their air conditioning so that they can improve them if they are using too much energy.

CIBSE said lodgement in a central register would provide trading standards officers with information on which buildings have not been inspected and could be the single most effective enforcement measure so far.

View the consultation document and respond via: