Now is not the time to stop air-conditioning inspections

MHCLG are currently consulting on a proposal to significantly reduce the number of air-conditioning systems that require mandatory five year inspections.

Elmhurst believes that, particularly as we recover from Covid-19, this is the wrong message to be delivering and that we should be inspecting more, and driving up compliance, to protect health and maximise energy savings.

Air-conditioning systems within the UK will only be increasing with global warming and the decarbonisation of the grid. Heating and powering buildings currently accounts for 40% of the UK’s total energy usage and reducing the number of air-conditioning systems being inspected will have an exponential impact on the possible energy saving opportunities available to reduce this towards the 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.

Elmhurst has drafted its response to MHCLG and is now seeking input and comments from members.

The heart of our response to MHCLG:

  • The staggering impact this change will have on energy saving and carbon reduction potential within the non-domestic building stock. We estimate that this is the equivalent missed reduction in carbon emissions of up to 155,686,000 kgCO2e
  • In light of the ongoing pandemic it seems wrong to dilute the need to inspect air-conditioning systems with the resultant adverse effect on health and safety.
  • Viewing the air-conditioning inspection as a MOT for air-conditioning systems not allowing business owners the opportunity to engage with industry experts and obtain independent advice.
  • Cost to business has been assessed incorrectly. We estimate that the inspection would likely save businesses £60,078,000

Josh Wakeling, Non-Domestic Technical Support Team Leader at Elmhurst, states: “Maintaining and inspecting air-conditioning systems is vital to not only ensure the health and safety of occupants (particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic) but also to promote best practice use, which will help building owners/occupants to unlock more energy savings. Not assessing these systems should simply not be an option."

Elmhurst's members have a wealth of knowledge and experience and can certainly help support the committee in pushing for more energy efficient buildings in the UK. Please feel free to respond or alternatively let us know your thoughts on our draft and we will attempt to include them in our final response.

Deadline for responses: Tuesday 14th July 2020

For further information:

Article published: 06/07/2020

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