CIBSE prepares to take action on outstanding air-conditioning inspections

Fewer than a thousand of the 50 000 air-conditioning installations that required inspecting by 4 January 2009 have actually been inspected, according to estimates from CIBSE. That deadline applied to systems over 250 kW, but there is uncertainty over how many inspections have been carried out as there is currently no requirement to lodge certificates.

Concerns are supported by up-to-date figures from leading energy-services companies showing a fall in the quantity of new inspection contracts placed during the last few months.

CIBSE shares industry concerns that action is needed to address poor compliance with the inspection requirements and is embarking on a programme to raise awareness among trading standards officers who must enforce the regulations. Jacqueline Balian, managing director of CIBSE Services, explains, ‘This awareness and enforcement campaign aims to equip trading standards officers (TSOs) to check that relevant buildings do have inspection certificates and that they are minded to prosecute where such certificates are not available.’

Richard Hipkiss of i-Prophets Energy Services has noted a drop in new inspections and comments, ‘Until there is increased enforcement, building operators and owners will not understand the benefits that inspections can bring. I welcome CIBSE’s intervention to draw TSOs’ attention to these matters. CIBSE will be explaining to TSOs how they can judge what type of building is likely to have a system of a size which currently requires inspection. I believe that when TSOs understand this, it will be relatively simple for them to take action. After all, they have to reach their targets just like everyone else.’

A survey by CIBSE earlier this year found that 30% of energy assessors estimated that 0 to 10% of their clients were aware of the air-conditioning inspection requirements.’

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