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'Industry should provide assessors'

The HVCA has warned against allowing people from outside the air conditioning profession to inspect air conditioning equipment under Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Bob Towse, head of technical and safety at the HVCA is concerned that inspections could lose creditability if assessors lack industry-specific knowledge and says that domestic home information packs have suffered from a similar lack of expertise in many of its assessors.

He said: “There is a shortage of suitably qualified people coming forward and there is a real danger that non-competent individuals from outside our industry could undertake training and become qualified.

“In a similar way to HIPs becoming weakened in significance because anyone was able to become an assessor, rather than a competent building services engineer, air conditioning inspections could follow suit.”

Mr Towse encouraged building services engineers to get involved in carrying out energy inspections and assessments, saying it could provide lucrative business prospects.

Under the regulations, all air conditioning systems first put into service on or after January 1, 2008, must have its first inspection within five years of the date when it was first put into service.

For other air conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 250kW the first inspection must happen by January 4, 2009.

For other air conditioning systems, where the effective rated output is more than 12kW the first inspection must happen by January 4, 2011.