Energy Efficiency Targets and Air Conditioning Systems
The energy consumption of buildings has been highlighted as a major issue in the fight against global warming. The European Energy Performance in Buildings Directive introduced various new pieces of legislation including one demanding that building air conditioning units are inspected every five years to determine if energy performance improvements can be achieved and thus potentially reduce their environmental impact.
In the UK, this has meant that by law, where a building’s air conditioning system has a rated cooling output greater than 250kW, the first inspection should have taken place by 4th January 2009. If the system has a rated cooling output greater than 12kW but less than 250kW, then the first inspection should have taken place before 4th January 2011.
The only exception to this legal requirement is for systems greater than 12kW installed on or after 1st January 2008, which have until 1st January 2013 to comply.
Building operators unable to present valid inspection certificates on demand are liable to spot fines or even court action, yet current estimates suggest that compliance with this legal requirement is very low.
The government is actively looking at tougher penalties. The pressure on building owner/operators to show their green credentials by acting on environmental responsibilities and legislation has never been greater.
There are definite cost saving benefits in ensuring that air conditioning systems are operated to their optimum efficiency at all times with older inefficient equipment being very costly to run and maintain compared to modern day systems and often fail to achieve required comfort levels that can have a negative impact on productivity and employee satisfaction levels.