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CIBSE calls for new body to police F-Gas and EPBD non-compliance

Consultants body CIBSE has called on the Government to urgently address the problem of non-compliance with the F-Gas Regulations and Energy Performance in Buildings Directive.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers has launched the Non-compliance Costs campaign, saying it is costing both business and the environment.

The Institution said the Government needs to intervene to boost rates of compliance in the EPBD, where air conditioning inspections are only occurring in 5 per cent of transactions that require them (compared with 80 per cent for getting a display energy certificate and 70 to 75 per cent for energy performance certificates).

Prime among its calls is to take the responsibility for enforcement of both regulations away from local authority Trading Standards to another body which is “interested and more able to act”. RAC, which has long been calling for better policing of the F-Gas regulation and EPCs, is backing the Non-compliance Costs

CIBSE president-elect Rob Manning (pictured) said: “The Non-compliance Costs campaign aims to bring together the many voices of frustration and concern to form one united call for action.

“We need to raise the issue of non-compliance up the government agenda and promote the benefits of increasing compliance rates.

“Non-compliance has real costs. It costs the environment, it will cost the UK any chance of meeting the emissions targets and it costs non-complying companies
who are missing out on a real opportunity to increase their profits.”

The campaign will continue for four months, running until 10 September.

Participants can sign up to support the compliance charter, which lies at the heart of the campaign.

The charter will spell out the costs of non-compliance and lays out three simple steps which are vital if air conditioning inspection compliance rates are to improve.

Supporters will also have the opportunity for greater involvement through downloading letters to send to prospective candidates and subsequently to their MPs, as well
as to local papers.

CIBSE’s compliance charter:

  • The UK Government must acknowledge that air conditioning inspection compliance is not working and must move the responsibility for enforcement away from Trading Standards to a body which is more interested and able to act;
  • The Government must set targets for air conditioning and F-Gas compliance that the enforcing body agree are achievable and sign up to;
  • The Government must increase communication with UK companies informing them of their obligations to comply with air conditioning inspection and F-Gas
    legislation. Straight after its launch as RAC went to press, associations and firms began adding their voices. Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association head of technical and safety Bob Towse said: “We fully support CIBSE’s campaign. We have a wider compliance agenda and are running a similar scheme for air conditioning. “But we take the view that across the board in the building services sector that levels of compliance are not what they
    should be.We want government authorities to do more than put legislation in place - they need to make sure there is the mechanism to enforce change.”

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