17481233_lUK: The recently formed National Association of Air Conditioning Energy Assessors (NAACEA) has called for air conditioning energy assessments to enjoy the same legal recognition as Commercial Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

The call follows yesterday’s statement by B&ES regarding the growing concern over the lack of enforcement for mandatory TM44 air conditioning inspections and the fact that over 95% were operating illegally.

“Whilst it is quite right of B&ES and other interested bodies raising concerns about the enforcement of the legislation introduced through the implementation of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), we believe that the legislation introduced covering commercial EPC’s should rightly be extended to the mandatory air conditioning energy assessment,” said NAACEA chairman Neil Dady.

“This simple extension of the legislation would force landlords and commercial property owners to act or risk trading standards issuing fines of up to 12.5% of the rateable value, capped at £5,000, as a penalty for non-compliance.”

Under legislation introduced on January 9 this year all commercial properties sold or let must have an EPC commissioned prior to, or within 7 days of, being put on the market. There is a further 21 days allowed for the completion and acquisition of the EPC after which time fines can be imposed’.

“Both EPCs and Air Conditioning Inspections are part of the same Government regulations,” continued Neil Dady, “But it seems greater emphasis is being given to the value of an EPC, that in itself, does not provide the detailed recommendations generated through a well written air conditioning energy assessment report.”

According to the NAACEA, since mandatory lodgement was introduced in April 2012 over 16,000 inspections have been carried out in England and Wales (mandatory lodgement has not yet been introduced in Scotland).

“So although there are concerns about enforcement there are a large number of energy assessors getting on with the job.”

NAACEA says it is is keen to bring together all interested parties in order to coordinate a national awareness campaign.

“It is our belief that because of the various commercial interests of all parties (accreditation bodies and assessment companies) any traditional marketing of inspections is very fragmented and almost non existent,” said Dady.

“It is also important that we do not lose sight of the energy saving benefits that are being identified by energy assessor’s, quite often the cost of assessment is easily recovered through savings if the recommendations are fully implemented.”

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