Air-conditioning energy inspections
Having your air-conditioning system regularly inspected by an Energy Assessor is designed to improve energy efficiency. It can also help cut electricity costs and carbon emissions for your home, business or organisation. It is also the law.
Here are the timescales for having air-conditioning systems inspected:
- any system with an effective rated output of 12kW or greater installed before 30 December 2008 must be inspected now
- systems with an effective rated output of 12kW or greater installed after 30 December 2008 must be inspected within five years
- afterwards, all systems over 12kW should be regularly inspected at intervals not exceeding five years
Failing to have your system inspected for energy efficiency could lead to enforcement action by district councils up to the issue of a penalty charge notice.
Under the regulations, the term air-conditioning system refers to any system where refrigeration is used to cool for the comfort of occupants.
Energy inspections, as well as being a legal need, offer an opportunity for you to make sure that the system is performing as efficiently as possible. It may also highlight opportunities to replace older, less energy efficient systems or oversized systems with the new more energy efficient systems. Energy inspections may also identify units that are no longer needed due to a change in use of parts of your building or home.
As well as these energy inspections there are the normal activities associated with the ownership and running of air-conditioning systems, including inspection, maintenance and cleaning programmes. These can maintain the ability of the system to give healthy and comfortable environments for building occupants, limit the escape of refrigerant gases and make sure the equipment is safe.
Report of findings
The Energy Assessor who carries out the inspection will give you a report of their findings, identifying recommendations to improve the system’s performance. Carrying out the recommendations in the report could cut your energy bills and save you money.
It is important you hold on to a copy of this report, as not only is it evidence that you have had an energy inspection, but by law you must have a copy under your control at all times. It should also be made available to an authorised officer of an enforcement authority should they visit your building or home to confirm compliance. Failing to have a copy of the report may result in enforcement action and the issue of a penalty change notice even if you have had the system inspected.
Find an accredited energy assessor
To find an accredited energy assessor to carry out the inspection, you can search the Northern Ireland (NI) Register at the following website:
For advice on air-conditioning energy inspections, contact your local district council building control.
For more information on the energy performance of building regulations and to download guidance on air-conditioning energy inspections, visit the following page on the Department of Finance website: