View Full Version : Energy efficiency inspections

04-11-2010, 05:59 PM
I was asked the other day if our company carrys out any type of building energy efficiency inspection.

I told them that on the air conditioning side we carry out the F Gas checks....
but does anyone know if there are any other energy efficiency inspections that we should be doing as a company?

04-11-2010, 06:10 PM
Each engineer with a couple years experience should (not must) become a certified AC Inspector with one of the many accrediting bodies. The company or individual only pays about 300.00 to attend a 1 day lecture on the topic. If you do not have an HND then you write a 500 word proof of experience and they check your first 3 assessments for satisfactory standards.

Then simply add the inspection to the maintannce contract - the inspection is actually less complicated than a thorough mainetanance because it is non intrusive.

Follow this link and rush to page 3.

Also search the web for a free copy of the CIBSE TM44

04-11-2010, 06:29 PM
.........The company or individual only pays about 300.00 to attend a 1 day lecture on the topic. If you do not have an HND then you write a 500 word proof of experience and they check your first 3 assessments for satisfactory standards.

Also search the web for a free copy of the CIBSE TM44

You failed to mention that the person would need to register with the organisation.
With CIBSE there is a 350 assesment cost and then 350 registration cost.

I didn't do the TM44 day course as reading the book alone is fairly self evident. I do know of people who did the day course who came away no more wiser. They believed it would have been easier to just study the book.

The form filling with the CIBSe is an APEL format route and not so easy. I nearly gave up but succeeded in the end.

I am now a provisionally approved Inspector ... how wonderfull. All I need to do now is convince clients that they do need their systems inspecting, then convince the first three that their report, although not intially legal, as I'm only provisionally qualified, will be once those three reports have been approved.

But then, they say, why do I need to have the inspection, who will police it, can the local authority really find the resources to police this legislation with the current political economic shut down around the corner? And what then? they might fine me 300.00 ... wow! "by the way?" how much are you charging for this provisional report?

Dream on. :mad:

04-11-2010, 06:37 PM
they might fine me 300.00 ... wow! "by the way?" how much are you charging for this provisional report?

I don't think anyone should be charging their customers for this service. We do not charge for it. Our routine maintenance inspections are more comprehensive than the energy inspection routine so it is simply done as part of.

Your description of the path to accreditation is better than mine :)

04-11-2010, 06:45 PM
Charging customers?

I tend to agree with this one for existing clients and I have offered to do so, but they are still quite reluctant to step forward and agree. That being so I have decided to do the inspections at the next ppm visit then present them. I'm sure there will be some eyebrow raising when we attend and start doing more than usual, like asking for building drwaings and design material, measuring areas etc.

However, if there is to be potential work out there I think that new enquierys about Inspection should carry a fee if only modest enough to get in through the door as any recomendations for repair or maintenance is more than likely to come your way from an inspection report.

04-11-2010, 07:35 PM
taken from page 3;

Mandatory inspections are being introduced for all air conditioning systems with
rated cooling output greater than 12kW. This includes the combined output of
one or more individual air conditioning units in a building.
If your air conditioning system has a rated output greater than 250 kW, you
must have had your first inspection by 4th January 2009.
If your air conditioning system has a rated output greater than 12kW, but less
than 250kW you must have had your first inspection by 4th January 2011.
Thereafter, inspections will be required every 5 years. This is now law.
For new systems installed on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must
have taken place within 5 years of the installation date.

Who is supposed to do the inspection if no one from our company has the qualification?
Is it the clients responsibility or the maintenance companys?

04-11-2010, 07:50 PM
Who is supposed to do the inspection if no one from our company has the qualification?
Is it the clients responsibility or the maintenance companys?

It's not the maintenance company's responsiblity. I know that. I'm not sure if it is the building owners, equipment owners, or simply those occupying and thus using the systems.

04-11-2010, 07:58 PM
Hi Marc

Don't worry, it's the building owner or manager's responsibility, not yours.

By the 1st January 2011, the combined total cooling capacity drops from 250kW per building to 12kW, so they should all be moving with all gusto by now to comply.

In the real world though, not very many of them realise the importance and as the policing of it is non existant, nobody seems to give a damn.

The inspections can only be carried out by certificated inspectors, not your everyday refrig engineer.

I've looked into becoming certified (no, not because the missus gives me grief) but the cost, about 3k overall, doesn't seem recoverable, as the customers don't seem to be willing to pay for inspections.

Have a look on the web for Air Conditioning Inspections and you will see what I mean.

04-11-2010, 09:08 PM

You can do it thru CIBSE ... 700.00 inc VAT plus a load of time to work thru the APEL format.

04-11-2010, 09:13 PM

You can do it thru CIBSE ... 700.00 inc VAT plus a load of time to work thru the APEL format.
I agree, but when you take into consideration the time taken off work, buying the report books, lodgement costs etc, you don't get much change...

04-11-2010, 09:33 PM
No time off work just a lot of hours on the pc / internet
The report book is a CIBSE download spreadsheet ..no cost

My total cost was 700.00 inc VAT ... plus cost of TM44 book 30 ish
but as I said lot of time doing the form filling.

04-11-2010, 10:07 PM
This is why a lot of the companies offering the service also offer an energy "audit" to run off the back of it thereby identifying energy savings throughout the building etc., as it looks a bit daft spending loads of cash on just the "legal" aircon inspection when you can spend more and get a more viable "value for money" report.

Or just tag it on to the maintenance.

05-11-2010, 08:02 AM
I think it's something that our company should look into doing that way at least we can offer it to the client and if/when it does become policed then we will be prepared.

Thanks guys

07-12-2010, 04:28 PM
Great thread this one,

I started the APEL route early this year FEb time, I filled in the Pre Apel online and went to the London City Cibse day Course in March.
Since then i have been trying to find the time to fill in the APEL forms online, i get to about 4.30 in the afternoon with about a hour to spare, load up the online forms and just loose the will to continue, there's so much, we have all the health and safety stuff, all the paperwork, everything in place. As im the owner of a small Air Conditioning and Refrigeration business. Everything is done to the book around here
Its all putting it into words and paragraphs and making it sound right. I have a practical engineering background and do not have the gift of the word processor :lol:

I have two large customers who want this assessment carried out, but I'm struggling.
I have been int he trade 20 years, starting out as a engineer, and I'm now in the office and employ engineers.
So i certainly have experience.
If anyone can help me with wording please send me a PM. I'm a man in need of a bit of help.
God Bless

Black Cat
13-12-2010, 01:32 AM
I am happy to quote for the provision of A/C inspection in and around London and SE. e-mail me directly on Removed by the moderator - no advertising, please. You can contact using the PM facility giving location details and an asset register list of the numbers of chillers, packaged splits/VRVs and AHUs, water towers, type of control systems and what type of information client is able to provide; i.e floor plans, activities etc. and I will be delighted to quote.
Clients/contractors can help by providing access to service schedules, previous maintenance reports etc. The guy who said earlier that it should be included FOC within the service contract does not know what is required. These are time hungry things to produce. I assume he does not charge by the hour then? And donates his time for free? It takes time to collect and record data, photographs, and paw over commissioning data and complete SFP calculations on AHUS and estimating cooling loads against installed cooling loads. The software is a very slow and unfriendly. Beware, some clients prefer to use contractors who are independent from the A/C maintenance contractor. If your systems are not up to scratch, you can leave yourself open to adverse criticism, with the risk that you might loose a valued client. Otherwise, the inspector would be inspecting himself and it makes for critical assessment of the installation, maintenance. Much of the energy report is how the equipment is operated and used. It is a legal requirement every 5 years and should be in place BEFORE 4th Jan 2011 on all buildings where the cumulative cooling capacity is greater than 12kW. That is a lot of buildings. For small packaged systems, it should only cost a 200 or so. but for larger systems (e.g. 15 chillers with 30xAHUs, water towers and 1000 of terminal units, BMS systems, then it will take many days work collecting data and preparing and producing reports). These should not be given away.

14-12-2010, 12:19 PM
Im lead to believe a few of our customers are adding a bit more info to our allready extensive service reports and calling them a inspection.
A few customers have asked me for EER for older unitsand have requested to add the EER to the service sheets.

14-12-2010, 11:37 PM
I may be wrong but reading Article 9 of the Regs it would appear that the 12kW limit is not a case of add them all together until they are greater than 12kW.

It states that if the grouped together splits etc. total 12kW or more then inspect but only if the temperature is controlled by the building owner/operator.


This threshold of 12 kW is taken to apply to the total cooling capacity of the system,
so that if a building owner or manager has the power to control the temperature of
individual air-conditioning units (e.g. in a hotel), then these individual air-conditioning
units should be considered components of a single air-conditioning system. This
effectively means that smaller air-conditioning units would only be inspected when
operating together to form an air-conditioning system of effective rated output
of more than 12kW to serve a space or spaces under the control of one owner
or operator.

So, if I read this correctly, as long as each unit/fan coil is controlled individually by a office staff member who is not the owner or operator of the building the inspection is not required.

15-12-2010, 02:02 PM
Hi all, i went on a 3 day course back in january and unfortunately still do not have the qualification (currently finding a new assessor, last one went bust). I was wondering what kind of information you guys were told to collect because from what i was told to collect, photos to take, h and s, drawing, completing the the computer data you would be pushed to inspect 5 splits in day.

Black Cat if your only charging 200 for small packaged systems i cant see where the profit is!

21-12-2010, 05:09 PM
All very interesting comments above.

Re the 12kw if the building has a combined total of 12kw or above then it will need an inspection carrying out.

Not sure how you can carry out the inspections during the ppm as it is meant to be an independent inspection, i work for a large maintenance provider but carry out the inspections indepentley from our maintenance department

Re not charging for the inspections have you ever typed one up have just spent a good day and a half typing one up. Even typing up a report for a small retail outlet with 3 split systems in can take a good three hours.

Also re the cost i did it through BESCA and despite being a fully quallified up to advanced craft in AC and refrigeration City and Guilds i was still required to do top up training and all the APEL stuff i would put the figure up at 3k as Brain said.

We are finding it quite profitable and are carrying out a large number of inspections for our customers and also clients whose equipment we do not maintain and picking up some good energy saving points for teh customer that an engineer wouldnt even look at

Oh and the fine is 300 per day up to a maximum of 5K

23-03-2011, 06:25 PM
Re the fine:
It is a 300 penalty, but I didn't think it was per day. As the trading standards officers are the people policing it, they have the power to impose greater fines on you if they wish. Failure to provide information to a TSO could lead to a prison term (very worst case scenario)

Also, the inspections only need to be carried out on "comfort cooling" applications. If there are a number of splits which cool comms rooms, then these are excluded.

Makeit go Right
24-03-2011, 01:14 PM
Couple of comments:

a) At what point does a customer need an inspection? The customers say they do not have systems larger than 12kW but have (eg) 10x 10kW systems in the building. Where ever you look for authoritative statements on this situation, it says "Systems of 12kW" -- not the whole building containing 10-odd systems all adding up to more than 12kW. There is lots of opinions and heresay about, as to what the regulations say, like that link, above, too: http://www.communities.gov.uk/docume...pdf/957287.pdf (http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planningandbuilding/pdf/957287.pdf) which lightly mentions whole building 12kW (not as clear as it could be, I feel).

But where is the REGULATION itself? Where is the 4000-page(?) EU Regulation itself with the clause etc that says 'whole building - several systems - above 12kW?' Anyone know where? Nothing about it on the Trading Standards site....well couldn't see anything about the inspections at all(LOL). But that is what customers need to see. No wonder there is so much confusion on that point.

{Ah, just spotted Brian's excerpt from the reg, and it's as clear as mud, naturally. In a hotel, I would have thought the occupant has control of the thermostat, not the hotel manager. Phew! What fools they must be that invent these regs.}

b) I find it a bit strange when I hear of the contracted Maintenance Company doing the inspection, as they will tend to overlook their own poor maintenance and stress the lurative replacement of older systems. It is like the garage doing the MOT on your car....you always wonder if they found unnecessary repairs in the MOT to keep them busy/rich in the repair shop. However, if the customer just needs to avoid potential issues with the Trading Standards, then why not have the maint company issue the report. Just another bit of paper for the file, and another box ticked, eh? However, if wanting to discover true efficiency info, an independant business needs to do the inspection.

c) The 300-fine and 'what Trading Standards?' would tend to encourage larger customers to not waste their cash on complance and spend it more wisely on upgrading their R22 and on-off aicon systems to modern efficient inverters. Makes real sense at the moment, while the trained inspectors try to get a return on their training investment, working their hearts out to get the compliance bodies to enforce the regulations. Customers should make hay while you can.