Air Conditioning Energy Inspection (ACEI)

Air Conditioning Energy Inspections (ACEIs), sometimes known as a TM44 assessment, ensure that air-conditioning equipment is being operated in an energy efficient manner.  The assessment process also checks that proper maintenance and record keeping procedures are in place.  Qualifying buildings have to be inspected every five years.

Whatever type of property you have, we can help provide the Air Conditioning Energy Inspections you need.  Our fully accredited assessors are experienced in dealing with all types and sizes of properties including shops, offices, factories, hotels, care homes, warehouses, workshops, stores and Listed Buildings.  We can  arrange assessments for single properties or entire portfolios.

To discuss your organisation's Air Conditioning Energy Inspections (ACEIs) needs please contact our team now.

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Actual prices depend on size, complexity and location of the building.  Contact us for a free no obligation quotation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

England
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland
England

Air Conditioning Energy Inspections are designed to ensure that cooling and ventilation systems are being operated efficiently.  The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in England that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within England are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Air Conditioning Energy Inspections (ACEIs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

Scotland

Air Conditioning Energy Inspections are designed to ensure that cooling and ventilation systems are being operated efficiently.  The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in Scotland that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within Scotland are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Air Conditioning Energy Inspections (ACEIs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

Wales

Air Conditioning Energy Inspections are designed to ensure that cooling and ventilation systems are being operated efficiently.  The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in Wales that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within Wales are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Air Conditioning Energy Inspections (ACEIs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

Northern Ireland

Air Conditioning Energy Inspections are designed to ensure that cooling and ventilation systems are being operated efficiently.  The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in Northern Ireland that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within Northern Ireland are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Air Conditioning Energy Inspections (ACEIs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

To conduct the Air Conditioning Energy Inspection (ACEI) an accredited assessor will visit your premises to complete the assessment.  This will be arranged with you in advance and it is really helpful if you have someone available to escort the assessor that is familiar with the building, the systems and their maintenance.  This not only enables the inspection to be conducted in a safe manner, it is also faster and helps to ensure your final report accurately reflects your system and the management processes you have in place.

During the inspection the assessor will examine the refrigeration and air moving equipment that are part of any air conditioning systems present and their controls.  They will also examine any documentation that helps users to understand the system, or indicates the extent to which the system has been maintained.  The energy assessor is also required to estimate whether the system is suitably sized for the cooling loads in the treated spaces and to provide advice on ways in which the performance of the system might be improved.  If you have thermal modelling information and/or a Building Log Book, these should also be made available to the assessor.

Access will be required to equipment that may be located in plant rooms, or outside the building, including rooftops or other locations with limited provision for access.  In all cases the building owner or manager must agree the means for safe access with the energy assessor.  The energy assessor may need to be accompanied by the responsible building manager or maintenance agent to complete the assessment in a safe and efficient manner.

Some additional access may be needed, for example to the inside of air handling units or ducts.  This must be provided and supervised by the responsible building manager or maintenance agent with due regard to the safety of the energy assessor and to building occupants.  Where this requires the system to be turned off, arrangements may need to be made for this outside working hours to avoid disruption to business.  Similarly, the energy assessor may need to access a sample of components, such as fan coil units, which may be hidden above suspended ceilings.  Again, access should be provided by the building manager or maintenance agent.

The building owner or manager should not expect the Air Conditioning Energy Inspection to identify hazards or unsafe aspects of the installation, operation or maintenance of systems.  These should be identified and addressed by other arrangements including regular maintenance inspections.  The survey is also a non-invasive visual inspection only.  The energy assessor cannot fix any problem identified as part of the inspection.  However, as a professional expert in their field, they are always happy to share best practice with you and will highlight any obvious deficiencies or safety concerns that they find.

Equally, Air Conditioning Energy Inspections carried out for the purposes of the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations are not designed to assess any risks to public health that the system may pose.  However, the assessor will review the management records of the system as part of the assessment and the energy assessor is required to inform the building owner or manager of any potential issues they find.  Additionally, the energy assessor is required to confirm that the relevant person has undertaken the necessary checks to ensure any legionella or other biological risks are properly managed as required by the The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002.  Again, they are confirming the existence of this documentation, not its accuracy which is best assessed by other specialist professionals.

Further information is available in the Government publication Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings – A guide to air conditioning inspections for buildings, December 2012,  Department for Communities and Local Government, ISBN: 978-1-4098-3725-1.

The effective output of an individual air conditioning unit or system may be given on the rating plate attached to the unit.  It may also be stated in the operating and maintenance manual or from the manufacturer’s website.  Alternatively, where the system is covered by a maintenance contract, the capacity should be known by the contractor and should be reported in the maintenance records they supply.

The guidelines below are an approximate indication of typical figures for installed capacity for various spaces and may help you determine whether your system is within the scope of the regulations.  Cooling requirements depend on a wide range of circumstances, including the fabric, location and orientation of the building towards the sun, as well as the activities and the number of people in the building.  Older systems are also likely to have higher rated outputs for a given floor area.  Where more specific figures are needed these should be calculated taking account of the particular circumstances of the building and its use.

The guidelines below are for offices and shops.  If it is not clear whether a building reaches the threshold the installed capacity of the system must be determined by appropriate inspection, calculation and enquiries.  In other, more specialised, buildings, the wide range of factors which influence system capacity means that these systems should be determined by a suitably qualified person on a case by case basis if the information is not already available.

For larger systems, a central cooling system serving an office building of 2,000m2 is likely to be 250kW rated output.  Cooling systems serving meeting rooms which may be used by large numbers of people, such as council chambers, may exceed the 250kW threshold for lower floor areas.

Activity being air conditionedLikely area requiring 12kW of cooling
Typical general office spaces.200 m2
Office spaces with high levels of IT electrical equipment.100 m2
Retail spaces with average levels of display lighting.250 m2
Retail spaces with high levels of display lighting and illuminated cabinets.150 m2

Please Note: These values are intended as a rough guide only and you should check the details of your specific system.  Offices, call centres, dealing floors and public spaces with high occupation densities (6m2 per person and over) or similar, in addition to areas with high levels of IT equipment, communication or lighting loads may well fall within the scope of these regulations at smaller areas.  The office spaces above assume an occupancy of 8 to 10 m2 per person.

We are often asked about responsibility for obtaining an Air Conditioning Energy Inspection (ACEI).  Is it up to the landlord to get the assessment and hold the report or is it the tenant?  As with most aspects of non-domestic leases it often depends upon the terms of the lease as responsibility could lie with either.

The Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 require the person who controls the operation of an air conditioning system to:

  • ensure an inspection has been done in accordance with the requirements and timetable of the regulations;
  • keep the most recent inspection report provided by an energy assessor; and
  • give any inspection report to any person taking over responsibilities with respect to the control of the air conditioning system.

If the control of an air conditioning system is passed to another person and that person has not been given an inspection report by the previous operator of the system, the system must be inspected within three months of the new operator of the system taking over such control.  This was originally relevant as initially there was no requirement to lodge certificates and reports onto the National Register.  However, this has now changed.  It is now required that all certificates and reports must be lodged on to the National Register in England and Wales.  These requirements have now been in effect for long enough that any report not lodged on the National Register will no have expired anyway.  As a result, valid reports can be found online at https://www.ndepcregister.com/ where they can currently be downloaded for free.

Please Note: The person who controls the operation of the system is the person who controls the technical functioning of the system, not someone who does no more than adjust the temperature or whose only responsibility is to adjust the controls.  This will usually be the owner of the system even where day to day operation is contracted out to another person or organisation. However, where a tenant takes total responsibility for a building and its services (e.g. full repairing and insuring lease), then the tenant will control the system and have these responsibilities.

Further information is available in the Department for Communities and Local Government publication Improving the energy efficiency of our buildings – A guide to air conditioning inspections for buildings (December 2012, ISBN: 978-1-4098-3725-1).

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