Energy Assessment

Inspections Are Required

Having your airconditioning system inspected by an Energy Assessor is designed to improve efficiency and reduce the electricity consumption. 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, there is an additional incentive to improve o replace older systems with more modern energy efficient units.

Building owners and managers who control airconditioning systems have statutory obligations and duties of care in the operation and maintenance of airconditioning systems.

Inspection, maintenance and cleaning programmes maintain the ability of the system to provide healthy and comfortable environments for building occupants, limiting the escape of refrigerant gases and ensuring the safety of equipment. The practices and procedures needed to achieve these aims should be applied more frequently than the assessment for energy efficiency.

Which Systems Require Inspection?

Only airconditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kW are affected by these regulations.

The effective rated output is the maximum calorific output in kW stated by the manufacturer of the system as deliverable during continuous operation while complying with the useful efficiency indicated by the manufacturer.

One or more airconditioning units within a building controlled by a single person are considered to compromise a single airconditioning system for the purposes of the regulations.

The person who controls the operation of the system is the person who controls the technical functioning of the system, not someone who can just alter the temperature.

For the purposes of the regulations, a building is defined as “a roofed construction having walls, for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate, and a reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately.

A part of a building designed or altered to be used separately is where the accommodation is made or adapted for separate occupation. This could be indicated by the accommodation having its own access, separation provision of heating and ventilation or shared heating and ventilation but with the ability by the occupier to independently control those services. For a non dwelling the part could be deemed to be separate even if some facilities (i.e kitchen and toilet facilities) were shared.

An airconditioning system refers to any system where refrigeration is used to provide colling for the comfort of occupants. This would exclude separate refrigeration provided solely for process applications such as cold stores, pharmaceutical production etc.

When Airconditioning Inspections are Required

All airconditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12Kw must be regularly inspected by an Energy Assessor.The inspections must be a maximum of five years apart.

The regulations require the first inspection of the affected systems to be carried out as follows:

  • All systems put into service on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must have taken place within five years of the date when it was first put into service
  • Where the effective rated output is more than 250kW the first inspection must happen by 4 January 2009
  • Where the effective rated output is more than 12kW the first inspection must happen by January 2011

How to Obtain an Airconditioning Inspection?

If you control the oepration of an airconditioning system affected by these regulations, it is your responsibility to:

  • Ensure an inspection has been done in accordance with the requirements and timetable of the Regulations
  • Keep the most recent inspection report made by an energy assessor
  • Give any inspection report kept by you to any person taking over your responsibilities with respect to the control of the airconditioning system

If you have taken over control of an airconditioning system from 4 January 2011 and you have not been given an inspection report, you must ensure the system is inspected within three months of taking over such control.

iCool Refrigeration can undertake an energy inspection you require for your commercial and industrial airconditioning systems, use the form supplied to send us a message or alternatively call us on 01420 562 472

What are Airconditioning Inspections?

The inspection will examine the refrigeration and air movement equipment that are part of airconditioning 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 Needed

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 all times.

Some additional access is likely to be needed, for example to the inside of AHUs or ducts. This must be provided and supervised by the responsible building manager or maintenance agent with due regard to the safety of the energy assessor and to building occupants. This would require the system to be turned off to allow safe access, so arrangements may need to be made for this outside working hours to avoid disruption of business. Similarly, the Energy Assessor may need to access a sample of components, such as fan coil units, which may be hidden above suspended ceilings. Again, access should be provided by the building manager.

Building owners and managers should not expect the airconditioning inspection to identify hazards or unsafe aspects of the installation, operation or maintenance of systems that should be identified and addressed by other arrangements, nor should they expect the energy assessor to fix any problem identified as part of the inspection.