Regular inspections of systems are mandatory and must be no less than five years apart. Under the TM44 Regulations.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) was first adopted in 2002. The recast Directive, adopted in May 2010, replaced the original Directive from 1 February 2012 and will be progressively implemented from January 2013. The Directive requires Member States across Europe to put in place 'measures to establish a regular inspection of air conditioning systems of an effective rated output of more than 12 kW'. In the UK separate legislation has been introduced in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that requires building owners or managers to undertake regular inspections of air conditioning systems. The regulations and requirements relating to air conditioning system inspections for England and Wales have now been in place for over three years, and for a slightly shorter period for Northern Ireland and Scotland. The principle guidance for the inspections is contained in CIBSE TM44.
CIBSE TM44 is used as the guidance for air conditioning inspections in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. The guidance is primarily intended to support inspections which are carried out for compliance with the EPBD, but will also be useful to anyone who wishes to assess the energy effi ciency of an air conditioning system.
With the benefit of the experience gained over the past three years, and to clarify some of the questions about air conditioning system inspections that have arisen over that period, the TM has been revised. The revision also takes into account the reporting templates produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government for the production of reports in England and Wales. These templates will also form the basis for statutory lodgement of air conditioning inspection reports, which will be required in England and Wales as from 6th April 2012 under amendments to the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2007. The revision has also provided the opportunity to incorporate the separate legislative requirements for Northern Ireland and Scotland in the main text of the TM, rather than as separate addenda.
TM44 provides guidance on conducting an air conditioning inspection to satisfy the requirements of the Directive as expressed in the various regulations in the UK. The focus is on systems that use refrigerants to produce cooling. Some of the guidance may also be applicable to elements of other forms of cooling systems, such as those that use pipes or ducts built into the fabric of the building (e.g. cooled deck or ceiling slabs), or those which use aquifers or local water sources to provide cooling solutions.
Failure to commission, keep or provide an air conditioning inspection report which has been lodged on to the Central Register could result in fines from £300 per offence (per a building / a unit). These fines could be repeated at the discretion of Trading Standards enforcement officer on a daily, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.
A further penalty can be issued for failure to provide a copy of the air conditioning inspection report when requested to an officer of an enforcement authority within seven days. This is fixed at £200 (per a building / a unit).
In addition to these penalties, it will still be necessary to commission the documents; otherwise further offences will be committed. The Air Conditioning Inspection Reports must be lodged on the Government database. Enforcement Officers can check at any time whether a public building is compliant with the legislation as Trading Standards are able to check remotely whether a building has a report lodged into the Government database.