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Concerns over fall in air con assessments

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers has launched an awareness campaign over new building energy performance regulations after contractors raised concerns over a fall in the number of air conditioning system assessments being carried out.

The group said figures from leading energy services companies showed a distinct fall in the quantity of new inspection contracts placed in recent months, despite tens of thousands of assessments that were required by 4 January 2009, not having been carried out.

It suggested the decline in work could reflect either a lack of awareness or unwillingness to comply with new energy performance requirements in buildings regulations.

CIBSE services managing director Jacqueline Balian said the group would be mounting an awareness and enforcement campaign with an aim to increasing the number of trading standards officers inspecting building certificates and prosecuting where required.

Efficient Air managing director Darren Bryant said: “Air conditioning inspections have the potential to yield real carbon and energy savings in the short and medium term. We are very concerned that these cost savings, which companies can achieve, are being lost because until now there has been little or no enforcement of the regulations and companies seem to be hesitating.”

In a survey carried out by the institution earlier this year, one in three energy assessors estimated that less than 10 per cent of their clients were aware of the new air conditioning inspection requirements.