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What’s an Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Inspection report and am I complying with the latest legislation?

Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Inspections

Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd carry out Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Inspections in accordance with the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) TM44 guidance. TM44 is the approved assessment methodology for achieving compliancy under The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) Legislation.

We are locally available in North London, East London, South London, West London, Central London, Greater London Boroughs, and carryout air conditioning inspections throughout the whole of the UK.

Are you aware that The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) issued an updated publication called ‘A guide to air conditioning inspections for buildings’ in December 2012? If not some of the key updates are captured below:-

What are the legislative requirements?

Whoever controls the operation of an air conditioning system, such as ‘the owner, building operator or a tenant taking responsibility for a building and its services’ has statutory obligations and duties of care for the operation and maintenance of the system, including its efficiency and energy consumption under Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) legislation which was implemented on 4 January 2009.

The EPBD requires ‘regular inspection’ of air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kW and the inspections must take place at least once every five years.

We have summarised the four time frame requirements below: –

Stage 1

For all new air conditioning systems installed on or after 1 January 2008, the first inspection must take place within five years of the date when the system was first put into service.

Stage 2

Since the 4th January 2009 it has been a compulsory requirement for the first inspection of existing air conditioning systems with an effective rated output greater than 250kW to have, taken place. As a guide, an air-conditioning system (comfort cooling) serving a treated office building of 2,000m2 is likely to be 250kW rated output.

Stage 3

Since the 4th January 2011, the first inspection of all air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output greater than 12kW must have occurred. Systems rated at over 12kW cooling output could comprise individual or multi-split systems, including centralised systems. The rated cooling output of a system may exceed 12kW where a number of individual units of less than 12kW rated output have common control. Refer to table 1 below for guidance for determining the size of your air-conditioning system for retail & office.

Stage 4

From 6 April 2012, it became a statutory requirement for the accredited air conditioning energy assessor to lodge all air conditioning inspection reports on the central non-domestic register. When the report is lodged it will be allocated a unique report reference number. Only air conditioning inspection reports, which were produced and lodged, on the central register from this date are valid reports.

Table one – Rule of thumb for determining the size of your air-conditioning system


Likely to be over 12KW of cooling

Air-conditioned general office spaces (assuming typical levels of electrical equipment 8-10m2 per person).


Air-conditioned offices with high levels of IT and electrical equipment.


Office, call centre or dealing floors with high occupant densities of 6m2 or similar, and high levels of IT, communications or lighting loads may well fall within the scope at smaller areas.
Retail spaces with average levels of displaying lighting.


Retail spaces with high levels of display lighting and illuminated cabinets.


The air conditioning inspection must be carried out by an accredited inspector belonging to a UK government approved air conditioning accreditation scheme. There are two levels (roles) of accredited air conditioning energy Inspectors. We have listed below the two levels of accredited assessors and we at Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd are accredited to provide both assessments: –

Simple systems

Also known as Level Three systems, these comprise the smaller installations typically known as splits or multi-splits, or simple variable refrigerant flow/volume (VRF/VRV) systems.

Complex systems

Complex or Level Four systems are large centralised air-conditioning systems such as variable air volume (VAV), centralised cooled water systems, fan coil units, chilled beams, chilled ceilings, and packaged comfort cooling equipment (VRF/VRV) systems.


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Why act now?

It is the responsibility of the person controlling the operation of the air conditioning system to ensure that it is inspected at regular intervals and that air conditioning inspection reports are less than five years old. Those failing to meet deadlines (or who fail to commission, keep or provide an inspection report when required by Trading Standards Officers)

The Air Conditioning Inspection Reports are now lodged on the Government database, it is very easy for Trading Standards to check remotely whether a building is compliant with legislation.

The fines are based on the following non-compliance issues under the legislation:

  • Failure to commission, keep or provide an air conditioning inspection report which has been lodged unto the Central Register face fines from £300 per offence (per a building / a unit) which 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 and Trading Standards can check remotely whether a building has a report lodged unto the Government database, this enables the Enforcement Officer to check whether a public building is compliant with the legislation. Are you complying?


air conditioning penalty charge notice London


Delay in transaction process?

If the building owner or manager wants to sell or let a building with an air conditioning system, which should have been inspected, then it is very likely that the legal advisors to the prospective tenant or buyer will require sight of the report during the legal processes prior to exchange of contracts. Failure to have a report, where one is required, may have a negative impact on the transaction process.

For more detailed information about the inspection process and good practice inspection and maintenance guidance can be found in the CIBSE TM44 guidance: Inspection of air conditioning systems – a guide to Energy Performance of Buildings Directive compliance.

Our Assessors

Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd are accredited inspectors and provide Air Conditioning Inspections as required under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations.

We are experienced Air conditioning inspectors and able to deliver a reliable and flexible service. Provide bespoke advice to assist you in cutting energy costs and carbon emissions in your buildings. We only allow the highest calibre assessors to work with Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd.

If you wish to discuss your Air Conditioning Energy Efficiency Inspection requirements or if you would like us to prepare a quotation for a project then feel free to contact the office and we will be happy to help.

Request an Air Conditioning Inspection Quote

To request an Air Conditioning Inspection Quote please complete the form below and we shall respond to you as soon as possible. If you have layout drawings and elevations available please send them to For multi-sites/buildings please also email your building details to the above e-mail address.

The following questions are designed to gather useful information that will enable our Energy Assessors to:

  • decide whether the property needs an Air Conditioning Inspection (ACI) and if it does, what level of energy assessor is required
  • provide you with a competitive quotation for the work required.

* Please note that fields marked with * must be completed.

* Please note that fields marked with * must be completed.

Your Contact Details

ACI Property Details

Building Floor Area( General ):

Please confirm whether any of the following Information is available:

Data Protection

This statement sets out our policy in relation to the holding and using of information that we may obtain from you when you contact us. If you have opted to provide us with personal information about you we may (in addition to, for example, using it to process an order placed by you) use this information to contact you by e-mail, telephone or post to provide you with details about our products or services or any other information which we believe may be of interest to you. It is intended that by providing personal information about yourself to us you consent to their use for the above purposes. It is intended that any consent given above will benefit any purchaser of our business. If at any time in the future you would like us to stop using your details for any of the above purposes please email us at:-

Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd (6682232) a limited company registered in England and Wales and regulated by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Regulation Authority.