Update on the UK Government consultation on the proposed changes to the EPBD and the impact on TM44 Air Conditioning Inspections
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The outcome of the review and the Commissions impact assessment indicated that a series of amendments were required to strengthen the current provisions of Directive 2010/31/EU and to simplify certain aspects.
On the 30th of May 2018, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union amended Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (EPDB) and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency.
Member States had to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 10 March 2020.
Please note that as a result of Brexit and the UK leaving the EU on the 31st of January 2020, a transition period was in place until 31 December 2020. The focus of the transition period was to negotiate new arrangements for a trade deal between the EU and UK. As a result of this the UK Government launched a consultation on the amendment to determine if it will be implemented or not. During the transition period, the current provisions of the Regulation relating to TM44 inspections of air conditioning and ventilation systems applied, and failure to be in possession of a valid TM44 Air Conditioning inspection certificate and report, which had been lodged on the Governments Landmark Register for any qualifying building, could lead to a financial penalty.
Article 15 of Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (EPDB) requires that member states implement the necessary measures to establish regular air conditioning inspections. Part 4 of The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations, sets out the requirements TM44 air conditioning inspections and air conditioning reports in England and Wales.
Outcome of the UK consultation on proposed changes to the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 to transpose part of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive ((EU) 2018/844).
The EU EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) 2010 required that member states implement the necessary measures to establish regular air conditioning inspections. Part 4 of The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2012, as amended, sets out the requirements TM44 air conditioning inspections and air conditioning reports in England and Wales.
The policy objectives were to ensure effective transposition of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2018/844 (EU) for air-conditioning inspections into UK regulations to meet with UK’s obligations under the withdrawal agreement, to improve the energy efficiency of air-conditioning systems in buildings and reduce carbon emissions from buildings.
The consultation proposed to increase the threshold of the current air-conditioning inspection regime for systems with effective rated output of more than 12kW to include only air-conditioning systems and combined air-conditioning and ventilation systems with an effective rated output of more than 70kW.
As a result of industry engagement, evidence from stakeholder responses and consideration of the cost benefit analysis, within the context of the wider climate change targets, the UK Government intends to diverge from the European Commission proposal and to retain the existing threshold for the inspection of the energy efficiency of air-conditioning systems that have an effective rated output of more than 12kW.
Retaining the threshold for inspections at effective rated output of more than 12kW would be in line with government policy of diverging from EU Directives where this is to meet UK Government objectives and in this case the Government commitment to net zero carbon buildings by 2050 requires all opportunities for carbon saving to be encouraged.
The current requirements for TM44 air conditioning inspections in England and Wales are indicated below;
all systems commissioned on or after 1 January 2008, required a first inspection within five years of commissioning date, and every 5 years thereafter
for air conditioning systems, with an effective rated output of more than 250kW the first inspection should have taken place by 4 January 2009, and every 5 years thereafter
for air conditioning systems, with an effective rated output of more than 12kW the first inspection should have taken place by 4 January 2011, and every 5 years thereafter
From 6 April 2012, all TM44 air conditioning inspection reports needed to be lodged on the national Government Landmark register, where after a report and certificate can be generated.
So what were the proposed EPBD amendments for Article 15 - Inspection of air-conditioning systems which could impact the current inspection and certification of air conditioning systems in England and Wales?
1. Member States shall lay down the necessary measures to establish regular inspections of the accessible parts of air-conditioning systems or of systems for combined air-conditioning and ventilation, with an effective rated output of over 70 kW.
The inspection shall include an assessment of the efficiency and sizing of the air-conditioning system compared with the cooling requirements of the building and, where relevant, consider the capabilities of the air- conditioning system or of the system for combined air-conditioning and ventilation to optimise its performance under typical or average operating conditions.
Where no changes have been made to the air-conditioning system or to the system for combined air-conditioning and ventilation or to the cooling requirements of the building following an inspection carried out pursuant to this paragraph, Member States may choose not to require the assessment of the sizing of the air-conditioning system to be repeated.
Member States that maintain more stringent requirements pursuant to Article 1(3) shall be exempt from the obligation to notify them to the Commission.
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