FGas Testing

Compliance Services. We are one the Country’s leading supplier of F-Gas tests and reports with a National team of highly trained Specialist F-Gas Surveyors.

The new F-Gas regulations became law on 4th July 2006 with the majority of measures taking effect from 4th July 2007.

The main objective of this regulation is to contain, prevent and thereby reduce emissions of the fluorinated greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto protocol. The regulation addresses containment, use, recovery, destruction, reporting, labelling, training and certification on the market prohibitions for the fluorinated gases.

The relevant parts affecting refrigeration and air conditioning are detailed below:

Containment

Operators of stationary refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment shall use all measures which are technically feasible and do not entail disproportionate cost to prevent leakage of HFCs and as soon as possible repair any detected leakage

An operator is defined as the natural or legal person exercising actual power over the technical functioning of the systems covered by this regulation. In specific situations the owner is responsible for the operator’s obligations.

These operators shall ensure systems are checked for leakage by certified personnel, as defined by the training and certification requirement. We undertake high volume reporting and F Gas testing using highly qualified Independent personnel, we have over 50 Technicians undertaking this specialist work throughout the UK including Scotland and Northern Ireland

Leakage Inspection

  • Systems shall be checked for leakage dependant on refrigerant charge
  • 3kg charge – check at least every 12 months
  • 30kg charge – check at least every 6 months
  • 300kg charge – check at least every 3 months
  • The application shall be checked for leakage within 1 month after a leak has been repaired to ensure the repair was effective
  • Operators of equipment containing 300kg or more shall install leakage detection systems – these must be checked every 12 months. We install these systems
  • “Checked for leakage” means that the system is examined for leakage using direct and indirect methods.

Record Keeping

Operators of equipment with more than 3kg will need to maintain records on the quantity and type of HFC installed. Any quantities added or recovered during maintenance, servicing and disposal will need to be recorded along with leak checks and any actions taken. These records need to be made available upon request by the authority. Our on-line record keeping ensures that you are compliant and securely held

Recovery

Operators of refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment are responsible for putting in place arrangements for the proper recovery by certified personnel who comply with the training and certification requirements. Alpine’s F Gas division ensures only Certified and properly checked personnel undertake your work.

Our offering and strengths;

    • Independent Consultants with Nationwide coverage
    • Low prices as our personnel are geographically recruited to be close to place of work
    • Alpine can undertake Air conditioning Assessment reports at the same time as an F Gas test
    • Full Health and Safety considerations, insurance and CRB checks undertaken
    • Web based Work Management System with client login to track all orders and surveys/tests undertaken
    • Clients get a standardised report throughout their portfolio

Single point of contact, Alpine already deal with some of the UKs biggest companies

Further Information

Useful website for further information:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/air/fgas/index.htm

Display Energy Certificates (DEC)

Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and advisory reports are required for all “Public” buildings with a total useful floor area over 1,000m2 that are occupied in whole or part by public authorities and by institutions providing public services. This has been the case since 2008. What has changed in January 2013 is that this size ratio has been reduced to 500m2, although once the first visit has been undertaken, the building need not have an update for 10 years. In 2015 the size limit is to be reduced to 250m2, and at ACI Reports we believe the update time is likely to be brought into line with the larger buildings; i.e. Annual.

Large building DECs must be renewed every 12 months; many have forgotten this and have outdated DECs, and are therefore breaking the law. What is also being discovered, in large numbers, is that the early DECs were not reflective of what was being found on site, and were incorrect. This was a symptom of the Assessors being newly qualified and inexperienced in those early days. Site visits only need to be undertaken every 5 years, we see many enquiries coming in to us on a “1 plus 4” basis which is one visit, plus four desktop reports to follow, annually. Importantly, and this is an area of serious concern on the DEC world, the SAME ASSESSOR must undertake the desktop surveys as undertook the first site visit for the desktop reports to be valid. Building owners are therefore urged to use only robust companies to undertake DECs, as they may find themselves having to pay for new site visits if the Assessor Company is not contracted for 5 years.

A Display Energy Certificate shows the energy performance of a building based on actual energy consumption as recorded annually over periods up to the last three years (the Operational Rating). The DEC also shows an Asset Rating when first undertaken. A DEC is valid for one year and must be updated annually if the building exceeds 1000m2. In Scotland, EPCs and DECs are combined and Assessors need to be qualified to undertake Scottish work. ACI Reports regularly undertake work in Scotland, so this is not an issue.

The Operational Rating (OR) is a numerical indicator of the actual annual carbon dioxide emissions from the building. The various types of energy consumption from occupying a building must be brought together on a common basis so that the performance of one building can be compared with that of another. The OR is based on the amount of energy consumed during the occupation of the building over a period of 12 months.

This rating is shown on a scale from A to G, and is displayed on a certificate which we issue upon completion. Also shown are the Operational Ratings for the previous two years; this provides information on whether the energy performance of the building is improving or not.

Collating information, in collaboration with the our Energy Assessor, is something the client needs to do. Alpine will need to obtain actual meter readings or consignment notes for all fuels used in the buildings. This may include gas fuels, oil fuels, solid fuels, district heating and cooling, grid electricity and electricity generated on site or obtained by private distribution systems from other sites.

For district heating and cooling and electricity generated on site, or obtained by private distribution systems from other sites, the average carbon factor for the fuel over the accounting period will need to be obtained.

Alpine undertake DECs at high volume throughout the UK, particularly within the Local Authority and schools sector. We have staff who are qualified to undertake not only DECs but also EPCs and TM44 Air Conditioning Assessments. We also advise all clients to check whether they have air conditioning, and read this section on our website; there is also legislation in addition to DECs which could cause Trading Standards to issue a fine for non- compliance due to not having a report called a TM44.

DFP officials and Building Control officers from the relevant District Council area have the duty of enforcement on DECs. These officers can act on complaints from the public or make random investigations themselves and if they believe that the building is subject to any of the duties under the Regulations, they can request production of the relevant documents. This information must be provided within 7 days of the request and the enforcement officers may take copies of any documents provided for inspection. Failure to comply with the request of the enforcement officers, or the Regulations, may result in the issue of a penalty charge notice. The penalty for each breach is £500 for failing to display a DEC at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public and £1,000 for failing to have possession of a valid advisory report.

All building owners seeking such awards as Green Cloak, Eco School, Green Deal finance, ISO 14001 and Carbon Trust accreditation should be aware that a lack of DEC and/or TM44 Air conditioning report could cause failure to maintain or achieve an award. Nearly 70% of schools on England and Wales are on the Eco Schools programme, particularly in that sector, Head Teachers are encouraged to call us on 0845 519 0221 for independent, impartial advice on next steps.

Our offering in this sector is as follows;

    • Instant quotations, we just need an e mail with the building type and size
    • National Coverage with similar offering to our F Gas division
    • £5 Million PI cover

Energy Management Consultancy

Alpine offers consultancy for energy management, carbon reduction and the feasibility of renewable energy technologies, as well as general consultancy on any building services related matters. We also offer a range of key consultancy services aimed at making the CRC work for your organisation.

Alpine’s energy management consultants can evaluate existing building stock, develop metering strategies and monitor usage to identify areas in which energy consumption can be reduced and thus, financial savings be made. We can also assist landlords and proprietors of multi-purpose buildings in setting up split metering systems, to ensure that responsibility for energy consumption is distributed accordingly.

Alpine is a partnering consultant with an industry-leading provider of energy monitoring and targeting software.

Software enables the monitoring of all utilities (gas, electricity, water, oil and solid fuels) on an unlimited number of sites. Data can be entered either automatically or manually, and the software can link to smart meters, AMR and BEMS or obtain data directly from suppliers (EDI, spreadsheet etc.).

Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC)

What is it?

In May 2007, the government published the Energy White Paper and announced its decision to implement a new emissions trading scheme – the CRC. The scheme
introduces mandatory emissions trading to cut CO2 emissions and requires that organisations purchase allowances – priced commodities (£/tonne) – that are to cover the equivalent amount of CO2 an organisation produces from its operations in a year.

The idea is that use of market mechanisms encourages organisations to become leaner in their energy usage as CO2 becomes associated with a definable financial reward or cost. The original scheme keeps changing, at the moment it is a simple “purchase” scheme, at £12 per tonne of CO2 produced.

Does it apply to my Firm

The CRC applies to large commercial and public sector bodies (including supermarkets, hotel chains, government departments, large local authorities) whose total annual half-hourly metered electricity use is above 6,000 MWh per annum. As a general rule of thumb, businesses with a total annual electricity bill of £500,000 or more will be covered by the scheme.

      • You will be on half hourly meters
      • You should have been sent a pack by now if you are to be included
      • You will use more than 6000M/W of electricity to be in the trap (approx. £500k of spend)
      • If you are on half hourly meters but use less than 6000M/W per annum, you will be an “Information Declarer” and will need to send in Annual Reports
      • All half hourly metered Companies must register with the Environment Agency
      • Your whole Company needs to be considered, this means head office, warehouses, other “related” companies in the Group and all shops.

 

Is this all now set in stone

        • No, the Government keeps changing its mind and there is a review going on at the moment, likely to be firmed up by October, however;
        • You must abide by the old rules until the new ones come in, and should we well on with your paperwork by now, or face legal action from the Environment Agency.

 

The fine for failing to register is £500 per day for up to 80 days.

What should we have done, and what should we be doing

There are three basic sections that the Government has called “Metrics”;

        • The Early Action Metric (setting yourself up on the scheme, registering with the Environment
        • Agency and sending in your first “baseline” report called the “Footprint Report”). This should have been done by now.
        • The Absolute Metric (this is your actual annual position); first annual report should have been sent in.
        • The Growth Metric (for acquisitions and disposals of companies or parts thereof)
        • We have sat with some companies and worked through all the paperwork.

If in doubt we can review things for you when we have Project specific details

By now your Footprint Report should have been lodged, and your first Annual Report should have been sent in by 29th July 2011. All the detail regarding what to do, forms to fill in etc. is on the

Government information website;
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crc-energy-efficiency-scheme-compliance-audit-need-to-know-guide

What will it cost us and I heard there is a league table

        • Currently you will need to buy Carbon Credits which have been pegged at £12 per tonne of carbon used. This was due to be raised in value, and is almost certainly going to be the case in the next 12/18 months, this is all currently being reviewed. The number of credits you need to buy are dependent on the calculations made on your carbon usage.
        • The Government will be issuing a league table in April 2012, but this may change.
        • We charge a daily consultancy fee or can quote.

Can I employ a consultant to sort all this out

        • Yes you can, we can complete all paperwork for you, but the forms are on line and your energy providers will give you all the data you need. If the ownership and control of the buildings are straightforward your internal team may be able to handle this. Our opinion and the evidence we have seen is that most Companies keep the exercise in house. All energy suppliers are now geared up to give CRC compliant statements in March each year.
        • You will need, under the legislation, to self – audit, that is a requirement. Also, you will be externally audited by the Environment Agency, who will undertake a desktop study and if they see any issues have budgeted for spending an additional two days in your company, going into some depth.
        • An evidence pack needs to be produced annually, we can produce this or you can do it yourself, but it is detailed and time consuming. A University Client recently allowed a member of their team to spend a full two weeks producing their pack.

Apart from all this paperwork, what are the practical steps to reduce cost and do well on the League table

        • CRC is all about saving energy. Where consultants come into their own is where savings can be analysed.
        • The starting point is to establish a benchmark of how you are conducting your day to day business, and potential energy saving areas. Consider an overall Energy Management Plan
        • Look for easy wins, with low costs
        • In a Retail environment, use the data in the TM44 Reports to your advantage;

An Assessor will have been into all your outlets and looked at;

        • Whether your maintenance is good enough on a/c
        • Old and dilapidated a/c equipment
        • Gas type used, R22 for instance, and whether you have replacement programmes
        • Lighting used, and therefore heat gain
        • Whether lighting is connected to a/c and heating, and whether this is all connected to locking doors at night
        • Staff awareness, signage and reminders to ensure they know how to use equipment
        • BEMS systems, sub meters and remote monitoring.
        • The above are only parts of a full Energy Management Plan, but results can be good

What others have done

        • Instead of a “cheap and cheerful” TM44, enhance it and request and take advantage of the Assessor being in the premises. Use that information for setting up a Carbon Saving Plan
        • We can spreadsheet all the results from TM44 to seek patterns of problems, again part of the basic first steps
        • If you are not caught in the CRC trap, do this anyway to start the ball rolling on saving money
        • Use a Consultant (we can do this) to put together an action plan, with targeting and monitoring, costed with returns on investment clearly set out
        • Utilise some of the funding schemes if necessary; Siemens and the Carbon Trust have a loan scheme, the savings can pay back the loan over time. We can advise on this.
        • Pilot schemes. Take 10/20 units and run a detailed scheme to look at all aspects, and come up with an overall strategy.

The CRC follows an annual cycle. The first footprint year will be April 2010 to March 2011. Qualification for CRC is based on half hourly electricity consumption during the qualification period. For the introductory phase, this is the 2008 calendar year.

Asbestos Services

Alpine facilitates compliance with the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006 (CAR 2006) through:

        • Asbestos surveys
        • Generation and implementation of asbestos management plans
        • Asbestos awareness training

In accordance with the MDHS (Methods for the Determination of Hazardous Substances) 100 guide and quality standard ISO 17020, Alpine provides:

Type 2 Asbestos Sampling Survey –

We carry out the survey and generate a comprehensive report which includes action plans and CAD-generated plans. We can also provide long-term monitoring and management of any asbestos found.

Type 3 Asbestos Survey –

A type 3 survey is required prior to the commencement of any refurbishment or demolition works and can identify asbestos which a standard type 2 survey would fail to detect.

Asbestos Management Plans

Following the identification of asbestos, Alpine can develop and implement an effective management plan to suit your specific requirements.

Further external information;

http://www.hse.gov.uk/asbestos/regulations.htm

https://www.gov.uk/who-is-responsible-for-asbestos-found-in-my-commercial-property

Fire Risk Assessments

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), fire risk assessments are required for all non-domestic buildings.

Alpine can help organisations and building owners to understand their obligations under the RRO and has a team of qualified assessors to carry out the necessary Fire Risk Assessments.

Furthermore should inspections reveal the need for remedial works to the passive fire protection of structural steelwork, or fire stopping of service penetrations in fire containment walls/floors,we source and manage accredited specialists in providing and installing these works. Moreover, in the course of these works, we can enhance the air-tightness of the structure in order to reduce energy wastage.

What are Air conditioning Inspections?

Key dates for air conditioning Inspections

In respect of dates, all Air Conditioning Inspections should have been complete by January 2011 in England and Wales; January 2012 in Scotland. It follows that if you do not have a report by now you face a £300 fine on each “space” that you occupy and control. If you are a tenant in a multi occupier building, and control your own system, then you need a TM44 straight away.The trigger for an air conditioning inspection is the size ( effective rated output ) of the system not the type of building and so the measures apply to homes, commercial and public buildings. TM44 also applies to parts of a building if there are separate controls (for instance a shopping centre).

The inspection done by an Accredited Assessor will include an assessment of efficiency, a review of the a/c system sizing and advice on efficiency, improvements, replacements or alternative solutions. The TM44 changes at times, Alpine analyse any changes and through their CPD programme ensure that all Assessments are valid using the latest version of TM44.
Many commercial buildings and an increasing number of homes have air conditioning systems. These systems should be carefully maintained and managed in order that they consume the minimum amount of energy possible. Alpine also look at R22 and other banned gas replacement programmes whilst undertaking the air conditioning inspection.

Systems requiring an Air Conditioning Inspection.

Only air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw are effected by the EPBD regulations, but that is very small and equates to just a few air conditioning cassettes, possibly as few as two cassette systems.

The “effective rated output ” is the differentiator , it is the maximum calorific output in kW of the complete system as stated by the manufacturer deliverable whilst in continuous operation. Our best guide is to tell clients that if they have more than two cassette systems they are likely to need a TM44 a/c assessment.

One or more parts of the system in a building must be added together, provided that the air conditioning system is controlled by a single person, this is the AC system which is considered to be a whole system by the EPBD regulations (Energy Performance Certificates Guidance).

The responsible person is the person who controls the AC system , that means the technical functioning , not the person who simply alters the temperature. This can lead to confusion, you can always give us a call for technical advice.

The type of building is also defined. This is the same definition as the EPC regulations, a building is defined as “a roofed construction having walls , for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate, and a reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately”. This is a complex subject as it can lead to multiple AC reports in one building, again Alpine can advise.

An air-conditioning system refers to any AC system where refrigeration is used to provide cooling for the comfort of the occupants of the space. Separate refrigeration which is not for the comfort of the occupants such as process applications, Computer servers, cold stores , beer cellars in pubs etc. will not need a TM44 report.

Complying with Air Conditioning Inspection Regulations

Local Authorities (trading standards officers) are responsible for enforcing the requirements and they have the authority to issue penalty charge notices for non – compliance and continued non – compliance. Fines are currently £300 per building or space, and can be repeated at the discretion of Trading Standards, so weekly fines are possible. Local Authorities get to keep the money so building owners beware!Now that all reports are lodged on Landmark, it is very easy for Trading Standards to check remotely whether a building is compliant with TM44.
Air Conditioning inspection Report requirements

What the client needs to know – basic rules;

If you control the technical operation of an air conditioning system, are a building manager or owner, you are responsible for obtaining an assessment report.

        • With an effective rated output greater than 12Kw inspections should have been completed by 4th January 2011
        • With an effective rated output greater than 250Kw, systems should have been inspected by 4th January 2009.
        • New systems over 12 kW installed after January 2008 must be inspected within 5 years of being put into service. So, in January 2013 you will need to start having TM44 inspections on all re-fits after January 2008.
        • Systems should be inspected every 5 years.
        • Be aware of partial re-fit works; if any part of an old a/c system is left in place, the site will require a current air conditioning report
        • If you have just moved into a space or acquired a building with air conditioning, the law states that you must have a valid air conditioning report within three months of moving in
        • From April 2012 all TM44 reports must be lodged onto the Landmark database, this is mandatory. Only CLG style reports can be lodged, never accept a document in “Word” format, it cannot be lodged and is invalid. In Scotland word documents are currently allowed
        • A new, updated TM44 was issued in April 2012; clients are advised that any reports after that date must comply with the new TM44 rules

All assessments must be carried out by an accredited Air Conditioning Energy Assessor. Accreditation ensures that the Assessors are professional and competent. However, there are two levels of assessment, level 3 and level 4; the Assessor must be appropriately qualified for the complexity of the a/c system, or the report is invalid. Invalid reporting is a major problem within the community of self–employed Assessors, who are also not insured and have no health & safety experience. Clients beware!

What Does the air conditioning inspection report cover?

You will receive a report from the assessment which includes recommendations for steps you could take to improve the efficiency of your system. These may range from improvements to the maintenance regime, through changes to the way the system is operated, to recommendations on the specification of a new or replacement system. The report will conform with a CLG approved scheme, provided you use a trusted Assessor.

Implementing some or all of the recommendations should reduce your energy bills for air conditioning and could improve the energy ratings for the building, as calculated for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Display Energy Certificate (DEC). Alpine can undertake EPCs and DECs if you require these as a supplementary report.

Portfolio and building owners need to be aware that the lack of a certificate may lead to a fine and Solicitors will start to ask for certification upon building transactions taking place. Pre planning for this legislation and ensuring compliance is important NOW!

What is contained in the air conditioning inspection report?
The purpose of the TM44 AC Inspection and AC Report is to ensure that building owners and managers are given basic information regarding the efficiency of the air-conditioning systems they control, together with advice on how the energy efficiency of the system may be improved. You will receive a report and a separate certificate, both of which will be lodged on Landmark.

The report will analyse your system based on a set of guidelines produced for CLG, and will cover in the reporting process such items as the potential reduced energy consumption due to the implementation of modifications, identification of inefficient plant, inappropriate user operation and major system and controls defects. Other items reviewed will be identification of opportunity to renew outdated equipment and control systems and cost effective alterations to the building fabric. We will advise you if old outdated gases are found in the a/c systems.

Acting on the advice in the AC Inspection report and rectifying faults or making appropriate improvements, where this is cost effective, should result in immediate improvements to the effectiveness of air – conditioning systems or reduce operating costs.

In some cases the costs of providing both heating and cooling may be reduced where the AC report identifies improvements in how the AC System in operated.

In many cases Alpine will understand that the AC system is being run well, all documents are in place and commissioned, with records available showing that the AC equipment has been regularly maintained to a good standard. In these cases the report will be brief with the main content advising on load reduction or on alternative solutions not previously considered. The AC Report will suggest relatively basic maintenance, such as cleaning and repairs, to AC equipment whose efficiency has suffered through neglect.

Cleaning operations or adjustments to controls do not form part of the AC Inspection procedure, although they will be advised upon. The Air Conditioning Inspection is not intended, or expected, to involve any physical work as this could change the level of professional risk to the energy assessor. Should the building owner require any physical work to be undertaken, Alpine can do this, by quotation and separate arrangement.

Most reports are likely to contain advice with a combination of simple, low or no cost measures and recommendations which will carry an investment cost , or suggestions to investigate areas in more detail.

On-going management of the systems, replacement units and maintenance advice is all available through Alpine’s technical specialists but will not be part of the initial Air Conditioning Report.

Local Authority trading standards officers have the power to check certification and issue fines for non-compliance, currently £300.00 per building, with additional fines for continued non-compliance.

Our management team has worked alongside major names in the property, ACI, EPC and DEC industry for many years, you can be sure that you will be dealt with by highly experienced professionals.

Complying with Regulations?

Complying with Air Conditioning Inspection Regulations

Local Authorities (trading standards officers) are responsible for enforcing the requirements and they have the authority to issue penalty charge notices for non – compliance and continued non – compliance. Fines are currently £300 per building or space, and can be repeated at the discretion of Trading Standards, so weekly fines are possible. Local Authorities get to keep the money so building owners beware!Now that all reports are lodged on Landmark, it is very easy for Trading Standards to check remotely whether a building is compliant with TM44.
Air Conditioning inspection Report requirements

What the client needs to know – basic rules;

If you control the technical operation of an air conditioning system, are a building manager or owner, you are responsible for obtaining an assessment report.

        • With an effective rated output greater than 12Kw inspections should have been completed by 4th January 2011
        • With an effective rated output greater than 250Kw, systems should have been inspected by 4th January 2009.
        • New systems over 12 kW installed after January 2008 must be inspected within 5 years of being put into service. So, in January 2013 you will need to start having TM44 inspections on all re-fits after January 2008.
        • Systems should be inspected every 5 years.
        • Be aware of partial re-fit works; if any part of an old a/c system is left in place, the site will require a current air conditioning report
        • If you have just moved into a space or acquired a building with air conditioning, the law states that you must have a valid air conditioning report within three months of moving in
        • From April 2012 all TM44 reports must be lodged onto the Landmark database, this is mandatory. Only CLG style reports can be lodged, never accept a document in “Word” format, it cannot be lodged and is invalid. In Scotland word documents are currently allowed
        • A new, updated TM44 was issued in April 2012; clients are advised that any reports after that date must comply with the new TM44 rules

All assessments must be carried out by an accredited Air Conditioning Energy Assessor. Accreditation ensures that the Assessors are professional and competent. However, there are two levels of assessment, level 3 and level 4; the Assessor must be appropriately qualified for the complexity of the a/c system, or the report is invalid. Invalid reporting is a major problem within the community of self–employed Assessors, who are also not insured and have no health & safety experience. Clients beware!

What Does the air conditioning inspection report cover?

You will receive a report from the assessment which includes recommendations for steps you could take to improve the efficiency of your system. These may range from improvements to the maintenance regime, through changes to the way the system is operated, to recommendations on the specification of a new or replacement system. The report will conform with a CLG approved scheme, provided you use a trusted Assessor.

Implementing some or all of the recommendations should reduce your energy bills for air conditioning and could improve the energy ratings for the building, as calculated for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Display Energy Certificate (DEC). ACI Reports can undertake EPCs and DECs if you require these as a supplementary report.

Portfolio and building owners need to be aware that the lack of a certificate may lead to a fine and Solicitors will start to ask for certification upon building transactions taking place. Pre planning for this legislation and ensuring compliance is important NOW!

What is contained in the air conditioning inspection report?
The purpose of the TM44 AC Inspection and AC Report is to ensure that building owners and managers are given basic information regarding the efficiency of the air-conditioning systems they control, together with advice on how the energy efficiency of the system may be improved. You will receive a report and a separate certificate, both of which will be lodged on Landmark.

The report will analyse your system based on a set of guidelines produced for CLG, and will cover in the reporting process such items as the potential reduced energy consumption due to the implementation of modifications, identification of inefficient plant, inappropriate user operation and major system and controls defects. Other items reviewed will be identification of opportunity to renew outdated equipment and control systems and cost effective alterations to the building fabric. We will advise you if old outdated gases are found in the a/c systems.

Acting on the advice in the AC Inspection report and rectifying faults or making appropriate improvements, where this is cost effective, should result in immediate improvements to the effectiveness of air – conditioning systems or reduce operating costs.

In some cases the costs of providing both heating and cooling may be reduced where the AC report identifies improvements in how the AC System in operated.

In many cases Alpine will understand that the AC system is being run well, all documents are in place and commissioned, with records available showing that the AC equipment has been regularly maintained to a good standard. In these cases the report will be brief with the main content advising on load reduction or on alternative solutions not previously considered. The AC Report will suggest relatively basic maintenance, such as cleaning and repairs, to AC equipment whose efficiency has suffered through neglect.

Cleaning operations or adjustments to controls do not form part of the AC Inspection procedure, although they will be advised upon. The Air Conditioning Inspection is not intended, or expected, to involve any physical work as this could change the level of professional risk to the energy assessor. Should the building owner require any physical work to be undertaken, Alpine can do this, by quotation and separate arrangement.

Most reports are likely to contain advice with a combination of simple, low or no cost measures and recommendations which will carry an investment cost or suggestions to investigate areas in more detail.

On-going management of the systems, replacement units and maintenance advice is all available through Alpine’s technical specialists but will not be part of the initial Air Conditioning Report.

Local Authority trading standards officers have the power to check certification and issue fines for non-compliance, currently £300.00 per building, with additional fines for continued non-compliance.

Our management team has worked alongside major names in the property, ACI, EPC and DEC industry for many years, you can be sure that you will be dealt with by highly experienced professionals.

What Does the report cover?

What Does the air conditioning inspection report cover?

You will receive a report from the assessment which includes recommendations for steps you could take to improve the efficiency of your system. These may range from improvements to the maintenance regime, through changes to the way the system is operated, to recommendations on the specification of a new or replacement system. The report will conform with a CLG approved scheme, provided you use a trusted Assessor.

Implementing some or all of the recommendations should reduce your energy bills for air conditioning and could improve the energy ratings for the building, as calculated for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Display Energy Certificate (DEC). Alpine can undertake EPCs and DECs if you require these as a supplementary report.

Portfolio and building owners need to be aware that the lack of a certificate may lead to a fine and Solicitors will start to ask for certification upon building transactions taking place. Pre planning for this legislation and ensuring compliance is important NOW!

Do I need an Air Conditioning report?

Air Conditioning Inspections

Key dates for air conditioning Inspections

In respect of dates, all Air Conditioning Inspections should have been complete by January 2011 in England and Wales; January 2012 in Scotland. It follows that if you do not have a report by now you face a £300 fine on each “space” that you occupy and control. If you are a tenant in a multi occupier building, and control your own system, then you need a TM44 straight away.The trigger for an air conditioning inspection is the size ( effective rated output ) of the system not the type of building and so the measures apply to homes, commercial and public buildings. TM44 also applies to parts of a building if there are separate controls (for instance a shopping centre).

The inspection done by an Accredited Assessor will include an assessment of efficiency, a review of the a/c system sizing and advice on efficiency, improvements, replacements or alternative solutions. The TM44 changes at times, Alpine analyse any changes and through their CPD programme ensure that all Assessments are valid using the latest version of TM44.

Many commercial buildings and an increasing number of homes have air conditioning systems. These systems should be carefully maintained and managed in order that they consume the minimum amount of energy possible. Alpine also look at R22 and other banned gas replacement programmes whilst undertaking the air conditioning inspection.

Systems requiring an Air Conditioning Inspection.

Only air-conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw are effected by the EPBD regulations, but that is very small and equates to just a few air conditioning cassettes, possibly as few as two cassette systems.

The “effective rated output” is the differentiator , it is the maximum calorific output in kW of the complete system as stated by the manufacturer deliverable whilst in continuous operation. Our best guide is to tell clients that if they have more than two cassette systems they are likely to need a TM44 a/c assessment.

One or more parts of the system in a building must be added together, provided that the air conditioning system is controlled by a single person, this is the AC system which is considered to be a whole system by the EPBD regulations (Energy Performance Certificates Guidance).

(Air-conditioning inspections for buildings) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/air-conditioning-inspections-for-buildings. The responsible person is the person who controls the AC system , that means the technical functioning , not the person who simply alters the temperature. This can lead to confusion, you can always give us a call for technical advice.

The type of building is also defined. This is the same definition as the EPC regulations, a building is defined as “a roofed construction having walls , for which energy is used to condition the indoor climate, and a reference to a building includes a reference to a part of a building which has been designed or altered to be used separately”. This is a complex subject as it can lead to multiple AC reports in one building, again ACI Reports can advise.

An air-conditioning system refers to any AC system where refrigeration is used to provide cooling for the comfort of the occupants of the space. Separate refrigeration which is not for the comfort of the occupants such as process applications, Computer servers, cold stores , beer cellars in pubs etc. will not need a TM44 report.

Complying with Air Conditioning Inspection Regulations

Local Authorities (trading standards officers) are responsible for enforcing the requirements and they have the authority to issue penalty charge notices for non – compliance and continued non – compliance. Fines are currently £300 per building or space, and can be repeated at the discretion of Trading Standards, so weekly fines are possible. Local Authorities get to keep the money so building owners beware!Now that all reports are lodged on Landmark, it is very easy for Trading Standards to check remotely whether a building is compliant with TM44.
Air Conditioning inspection Report requirements

What the client needs to know – basic rules;

If you control the technical operation of an air conditioning system, are a building manager or owner, you are responsible for obtaining an assessment report.

        • With an effective rated output greater than 12Kw inspections should have been completed by 4th January 2011
        • With an effective rated output greater than 250Kw, systems should have been inspected by 4th January 2009.
        • New systems over 12 kW installed after January 2008 must be inspected within 5 years of being put into service. So, in January 2013 you will need to start having TM44 inspections on all re-fits after January 2008.
        • Systems should be inspected every 5 years.
        • Be aware of partial re-fit works; if any part of an old a/c system is left in place, the site will require a current air conditioning report
        • If you have just moved into a space or acquired a building with air conditioning, the law states that you must have a valid air conditioning report within three months of moving in
        • From April 2012 all TM44 reports must be lodged onto the Landmark database, this is mandatory. Only CLG style reports can be lodged, never accept a document in “Word” format, it cannot be lodged and is invalid. In Scotland word documents are currently allowed
        • A new, updated TM44 was issued in April 2012; clients are advised that any reports after that date must comply with the new TM44 rules

All assessments must be carried out by an accredited Air Conditioning Energy Assessor. Accreditation ensures that the Assessors are professional and competent. However, there are two levels of assessment, level 3 and level 4; the Assessor must be appropriately qualified for the complexity of the a/c system, or the report is invalid. Invalid reporting is a major problem within the community of self–employed Assessors, who are also not insured and have no health & safety experience. Clients beware!
What Does the air conditioning inspection report cover?

You will receive a report from the assessment which includes recommendations for steps you could take to improve the efficiency of your system. These may range from improvements to the maintenance regime, through changes to the way the system is operated, to recommendations on the specification of a new or replacement system. The report will conform with a CLG approved scheme, provided you use a trusted Assessor.

Implementing some or all of the recommendations should reduce your energy bills for air conditioning and could improve the energy ratings for the building, as calculated for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or Display Energy Certificate (DEC). Alpine can undertake EPCs and DECs if you require these as a supplementary report.

Portfolio and building owners need to be aware that the lack of a certificate may lead to a fine and Solicitors will start to ask for certification upon building transactions taking place. Pre planning for this legislation and ensuring compliance is important NOW!

What is contained in the air conditioning inspection report?
The purpose of the TM44 AC Inspection and AC Report is to ensure that building owners and managers are given basic information regarding the efficiency of the air-conditioning systems they control, together with advice on how the energy efficiency of the system may be improved. You will receive a report and a separate certificate, both of which will be lodged on Landmark.

The report will analyse your system based on a set of guidelines produced for CLG, and will cover in the reporting process such items as the potential reduced energy consumption due to the implementation of modifications, identification of inefficient plant, inappropriate user operation and major system and controls defects. Other items reviewed will be identification of opportunity to renew outdated equipment and control systems and cost effective alterations to the building fabric. We will advise you if old outdated gases are found in the a/c systems.

Acting on the advice in the AC Inspection report and rectifying faults or making appropriate improvements, where this is cost effective, should result in immediate improvements to the effectiveness of air – conditioning systems or reduce operating costs.

In some cases the costs of providing both heating and cooling may be reduced where the AC report identifies improvements in how the AC System in operated.

In many cases Alpine will understand that the AC system is being run well, all documents are in place and commissioned, with records available showing that the AC equipment has been regularly maintained to a good standard. In these cases the report will be brief with the main content advising on load reduction or on alternative solutions not previously considered. The AC Report will suggest relatively basic maintenance, such as cleaning and repairs, to AC equipment whose efficiency has suffered through neglect.

Cleaning operations or adjustments to controls do not form part of the AC Inspection procedure, although they will be advised upon. The Air Conditioning Inspection is not intended, or expected, to involve any physical work as this could change the level of professional risk to the energy assessor. Should the building owner require any physical work to be undertaken, Alpine can do this by quotation and separate arrangement.

Most reports are likely to contain advice with a combination of simple, low or no cost measures and recommendations which will carry an investment cost , or suggestions to investigate areas in more detail.

On-going management of the systems, replacement units and maintenance advice is all available through Alpine’s technical specialists but will not be part of the initial Air Conditioning Report.

Local Authority trading standards officers have the power to check certification and issue fines for non-compliance, currently £300.00 per building, with additional fines for continued non-compliance.

Our management team has worked alongside major names in the property, ACI, EPC and DEC industry for many years, you can be sure that you will be dealt with by highly experienced professionals.
Further reading

What is the TM44 Inspection of Air Conditioning Systems?

TM44 Inspection of Air Conditioning Systems

On 4th January 2003 the European Parliament published a directive called the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the EPBD which requires member states to bring in necessary laws on energy consumption and use. In respect of Air Conditioning an industry working group was set up and has produced a guidance paper which is effectively used as a bible for the industry. This paper is known as TM44 and all the ACI work undertaken in England and Wales is guided by TM44. The document is produced by CIBSE and is available on line.

TM44 provides guidance on carrying out the required aci inspections within reasonable constraints of time , cost and skills and gives those undertaking air conditioning assessments specific guidance on giving advice to building owners and managers. Those responsible for buildings with systems over 250kw need an assessment now, those with smaller systems over 12kw need to be undertaking reports at this time to provide long term planning for the January 2011 deadline.

TM44 defines an air conditioning system so that those who are not sure whether they need an air conditioning assessment are clear.

It states that the EPB regulations define an “air conditioning system ” as; ” a combination of all the components required to provide a form of air treatment in which the temperature is controlled or can be lowered , and includes systems which combine such air treatment with the control of ventilation, humidity and air cleanliness”

All those air conditioning assessors who work for Alpine will conform to TM44.

Why are Air Conditioning Reports Required

This is all part of the European Performance of Buildings Directive and all relevant building owners/managers must comply. Having your Air-Conditioning system inspected by an approved Energy Assessor is designed to improve efficiency and reduce the electricity consumption, operating costs and carbon emissions from your AC system. Energy inspections will highlight improvements to the operation of your existing systems or opportunities to replace older, less energy efficient or oversized systems with new energy efficient AC systems.

As the replacement of refrigerant is restricted in older AC systems there is an additional incentive to improve or replace older systems with more modern energy efficient AC units.

Building owners or managers who control air-conditioning systems have statutory obligations and duties of care under the new EPBD regulations in respect of the operation and maintenance of their AC system.

Inspection , maintenance and cleaning programmes maintain the ability of the system to provide healthy and comfortable environments for building occupants , limiting the escape of refrigerant gases and ensuring the safety of equipment. The practices and procedures needed >to achieve these aims should be applied more regularly than the time scales set out in the EPBD AC regulations, professional good practice being an important factor in long term maintenance of Air Conditioning systems.

All air conditioning systems with an effective rated output of more than 12kw need inspecting now to ensure compliance before the rush in 2010.

Why Use Alpine?

Why Use Alpine Facilities Services

Alpine Facilities Services are a leading National supplier of Building Compliance Certification, we also work as preferred suppliers to many major National and International clients.

We have in place Professional Indemnity Insurance to the value of £5 million, one of the highest in our market; this is here to ensure you are protected at a level appropriate to a top class client.

Each and every one of our assessors has been security screened and CRB checked to ensure that we provide you with the highest calibre and integrity of individuals acting on your instruction. This has given Alpine an excellent reputation in our market.

Our assessors are fully trained via our own process though our Accreditation Partner, which enables us to control the quality of training and work, providing them with regular updates and we control the whole ACI collation process from first instruction to certificate delivery. This will give you the confidence knowing that it will be the Alpine delegated assessors name which will appears on the certificate, not someone you have never heard of. Using a large team like ours ensures consistency of reporting, essential for portfolio work.

To support the ACI process, we have a team of full time auditors who continually check and assess the work being carried out to ensure that you can be sure of the accuracy and quality of the ACI or test certificate that we issue to you.

Using our own highly developed integrated workflow management system (WMS), we plan, instruct monitor and complete every ACI inspection ensuring that these are delivered to you in the most cost effective and efficient way possible. There is a seamless flow of operation from your initial instruction to you receiving the completed certificate, allowing you to log in and track progress along the way.

Importantly to both of us is the security of our inspectors whilst on site and travelling to appointments; we have a ‘Lone Worker’ policy that ensures the safety of all our lone workers and provides you with the confidence that we are a professional and caring organisation.

As all of our assessors will be working in their local regions, this keeps travelling to a minimum, reducing vehicle usage which helps us improve our green footprint whilst conducting the surveys for you. In addition, the assessors will know local traffic conditions and the surrounding geography so will be able to plan the most effective routes to each and every survey.