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Concerns continue over air con checks

The level of awareness of the need for mandatory air conditioning inspections continues to be worryingly low amongst property owners according to a survey carried out by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (Cibse).

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air conditioning inspections

This is despite the fact that January 4 this year was meant to be the deadline for owners of air conditioning systems to ensure inspections were carried out on systems with an effective output of 250kW or above.

The informal survey found that a third of energy assessors believed that awareness amongst clients was hovering between 10 per cent and zero when it came to air conditioning inspections. Cibse described the issue as “concerning”.

Impact of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive reviewed

The survey of energy assessors and property professionals was undertaken to review the impact of the various measures undertaken under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Despite the poor feedback on air conditioning inspections it showed there was a high level of awareness of both residential and commercial Energy Performance Certificates which were seen as “very important” by more than 50 per cent of property professionals.

The survey found that 30 per cent of clients had asked for detailed surveys from their Energy Assessors, 25 per cent had asked for costings of recommendations and 21 per cent said they would implement recommendations.

EPC and DECs having 'positive' impact

John Field, a Cibse Low Carbon Energy Assessor and director of Power Efficiency, welcomed the fact that a fifth of property professionals were looking to take action on recommendations in their EPC or Display Energy Certificates: “I would say that is extremely positive: effectively spurring a large swathe of energy improvements.

“Granted one would hope for a higher percentage eventually, but the emphasis has understandably been on compliance and I believe there will be a gradual increase in focus on the rating and grade achieved and on ways to improve this. You have to measure before you can manage effectively.”

The survey did find that price was an extremely important issue for clients with a third of assessors saying that a more than 75 per cent of clients wanted the lowest possible cost for a certificate without taking into account any other considerations.

Government action needed on implementing EPC recommendations

Jacqueline Balian, managing director of Cibse Services, said the issue of implementing recommendations had to be looked at.

She said: “The most valuable element of an EPC is the recommendations report and it the only way we have any hope of really reducing actual carbon emissions from buildings.

'Cibse is therefore calling upon the Government to make implementation of the highest impact recommendations a requirement for any building which receives an F or G grade.”

A total of 171 Energy Assessors and 200 property professionals took part in the survey.