Air-conditioning energy inspections

Having your air-conditioning system regularly inspected by an Energy Assessor is designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce electricity costs and carbon emissions for your home, business or organisation. It is also the law.

Inspection timescales

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

Enforcement

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 provide cooling for the comfort of occupants.

Efficiency

Energy inspections, as well as being a legal requirement, offer an opportunity for you to make sure that the system is performing as efficiently as possible and may 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 required due to a change in use of parts of your building or home.

These energy inspections are in addition to the normal activities associated with the ownership and operation of air-conditioning systems. These include inspection, maintenance and cleaning programmes to 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.

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. Implementing 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 you are also required by law to 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:

Further advice

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:

More useful links

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