Air Conditioning Legislation – Will You Be Affected?

The Government is looking to reduce emissions as much as possible as everyone becomes more eco-conscious. We have already seen increased public transport use, electric cars and catalytic convertors become the norm to reduce carbon emission. It is buildings like houses, offices, and shops that account for half of the UK’s carbon emissions and energy consumption. This is why new laws have been introduced.

This article will focus on air conditioning and the new legislation that is being implemented. It also highlights key areas you need to be aware of.

What is the new law?
The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates & Inspections) Regulations 2007 make it mandatory to inspect air conditioning systems. There are different requirements for different systems.

It will affect me?
All buildings with 12kw air conditioners will be affected. This applies to all commercial, residential, and public buildings.
Below is a list of air conditioner units that need to be inspected:

  • Units with 250kw or more require an inspection certificate right away (and should have one by January 2009).
  • Inspection certificates are required for units exceeding 12kw. 4th January 2011
  • If your unit was installed after January 1, 2008, you’ll need to have it inspected again before the 5th year.

How do I find out if my 12kw air conditioning unit is working?

12kw units can be wall-, door- or ceiling-mounted.

The wall-mounted units measure between 1500mm to 2500mm in width, making them one of the most compact systems. These units are sometimes called “air curtains” because they are placed above customers’ entrances and blow cool air on them.

Because they can be linked to larger outdoor units, ceiling mounted units are smaller. They can reach a height of around 840mm, and are flush with the ceiling.

According to the EPB Regulations, “Totals” refers to the sum of all components that are required for a type of air treatment where the temperature can be controlled or lowered. It also includes systems that combine such air treatment and the control of ventilation, humidity, and air cleanliness.

This could mean, for instance, that you need to inspect three 4kw units in one building.

What is an inspection?
The inspection is a basic health check of the system. It is intended to determine how efficient it is, and what improvements could be made to reduce energy use and emissions. It can also help to reduce operating costs. Your inspector will advise you if a more efficient system is more appropriate for your premises. It is required that regular inspections be conducted at least once every five years following your initial inspection.

Who will conduct the inspection?
Only an accredited energy assessor can validate an inspection report. Search online for your postcode to find an accredited assessor who can inspect your building.

Do I need to have an inspection done?
Now it is mandatory to follow the legislation. This means that an inspection is required. However, the report is not mandatory to be submitted to the central register. If you’ve been recently assigned the responsibility to control an air conditioner unit, but have not been provided with an inspection log, you must schedule an inspection within 3 months.

What happens if I do not have an inspection?
There is currently a fixed £300 penalty for non-compliance, which is likely to increase soon with government changes and environmental policies getting stricter. Additionally, there are other penalties. Standard buildings insurance policies do not cover property that does not comply with all applicable laws, including air-conditioning inspections..