Air Condittioning Energy Inspection System

Large public and private sector organisations in the UK are sensitive to rising energy prices because energy can account for a large part of their operating costs. These sectors are also responsible for a significant proportion of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.


Our Carbon Plan states that if the UK is to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, energy efficiency will have to increase across all sectors to the extent that energy use per capita is between a fifth and a half lower than it is today.


Why must businesses have their Air Conditioning systems inspected?


Answer - Businesses contribute to almost 50% of the UK's energy consumption, of this 50% it is widely accepted Air Conditioning systems are responsible for 30% of the energy businesses use.  Under the government’s commitment to achieve their energy reduction targets of 80% by 2050 all business and homes will need to adopt strategies for continual energy reduction programs.  As Air Conditioning is such a large proportion of a business’s energy consumption the government introduced mandatory inspections in April 2012 across the UK as one approach to help meet the 2050 targets.


How can I tell if the facilities I manage need to have an AC Inspection?


Answer - Most sites with Air conditioning systems installed will need to be inspected, the official requirement is for a facility with a combined air conditioning energy output of 12kW or greater.  just check a few of your units, look at the kW output of each system and if collectively they add up to be 12kW or above it is a mandatory requirement to commission an Air Conditioning Inspection for each site this applies to.  In practice most high street stores, office blocks, coffee shops, hotels, hospitals restaurants all need to be inspected.


Who is responsible for making sure a facility is compliant with the current legislation?


Answer - The person who controls the operation of the system, such as the building owner or manager, has statutory obligations and duties of care in the operation and maintenance of air conditioning systems.


How frequently will a facility need to be inspected to stay compliant?


Answer - Once every 5 years


When should all of my facilities be compliant by?


Answer - January 2011 for all facilities with an energy output of 12kW or greater.


Are the laws the same throughout the UK?


Answer - England, Wales & Northern Ireland are all the same, in Scotland the laws have been applied slightly differently but with the 12kw combined output applying to systems working under the same controller. In practice this means most facilities in Scotland still need inspecting.


Will the regulations change if a different political party is in power?


Answer - As the energy reduction targets are agreed for the UK and signed up to by all political parties a change in leadership is unlikely to result in a change in policy.  With increasing demands, it is anticipated legislation will increase rather than decrease.


Are there any other benefits for a business other than a legislative requirement to commission an Air Conditioning Inspection?


Answer - With a standard AC inspection the report offers recommendations and advice for the facility / energy manager to consider, however the depth of this information will vary from assessor to assessor.  The standard assessment does not offer any cost impact or energy impact assessment as part of the certification.


Is an AC Assessment part of ESOS?


Answer - Yes, your AC Inspection will form part of your ESOS certification, if you have already hold a current AC certificate you will not need to be inspected again until the 5 year anniversary of your AC inspection.  If you are not looking at ESOS you will still need an AC Inspection


Does participation in other government carbon reduction programs exempt my business from holding a valid AC Certificate?


Answer - No, schemes such as CRC or other inspections like EPC do not provide your facilities with AC certification, if a facility you manage meets the combined output rating of 12kw or grater you will need to have an inspection every 5 years.


My AC systems are under an active maintenance agreement will this provide my facility with its AC Certification?


Answer - No, although it is essential to help ensure your current AC Systems are operating well a maintenance program will not cover or provide the mandatory AC Inspection for your facility.


What systems will be inspected by an assessor?


Answer - The air conditioning energy inspector will be required to inspect a sample of the air conditioning systems on-site; for split systems this will be 10% or a minimum of 3 systems. Although other factors including the presence of differing makes and types of systems will increase this percentage.  For larger complex systems, including plant such as chillers, AHUs, Versatemp or Fan Coil Units, 100% of the chiller & AHU plant must be inspected, (AHUs can be sampled after the first  10).  A number of linked internal systems will also require sampling, however an assessor need access to all internal areas as all areas are required to be measured so as sizing calculations can be performed.  Please; sampling is referring to testing the operation of the system and entering the sampled system into the mandatory report.



Published by the DCLG December 2012

A guide to efficient cooling

Published by the Carbon Trust March 2012

Energy Certificates & Air Conditioning Inspections for Buildings.pdf

Published by the DCLG March 2008


Check to see if your building holds a current Air Conditioning Certificate!  The governments Non-Domestic Energy Performance Register records EPCs, DECs, AIR CON Certificates on buildings in England & Wales.


If your building has air conditioning installed and you can't see a certificate for your building on the above government site it is likely you are not compliant with UK law.

Contact ACE Wizard and we can recommend an assessor in the UK to carry out this inspection r visit our partner page.