What can I expect in the report?
The purpose of the inspection and report is to ensure that building owners or managers are provided with basic information regarding the efficiency of the air conditioning systems that they control, together with advice on how the energy efficiency or effectiveness of these systems might be improved.
Acting on the advice in the inspection report and rectifying faults or making appropriate improvements, where this is attractive and cost effective, may result in immediate improvements to the effectiveness of air conditioning systems or reduce the operating costs. In some cases the costs of providing both heating and cooling may be reduced, in cases where these two systems are unnecessarily in use at the same time due to inappropriate controls or settings. In many cases it will be clear that the building and systems are already well understood, documented and commissioned, with records available showing that the equipment has been regularly maintained to a good standard. In such cases an energy inspection could be reduced in extent and the inspection report brief, with the main content advising on opportunities for load reduction or on alternative solutions not previously considered.
However, in other cases the energy assessor may find it necessary to suggest relatively basic maintenance, such as cleaning or repairs, to equipment whose efficiency has evidently suffered through neglect.
Cleaning operations or adjustments to controls do not form part of the inspection procedure, even where they might be carried out simply and with significant immediate effect in improving efficiency. The inspection is not intended, or expected, to involve any physical work of this nature as this could change the level of professional risk to the energy assessor.
Authority to carry out such work would need to be given as part of a separate arrangement by the building owner or manager provided the Energy Assessor has the necessary competence to do this work. However, the building owner, manager or their representative may well be able to carry out some alterations themselves as the energy inspection is carried out, provided they agree with the assessor’s observations.
Most reports are likely to contain advice with a combination of simple low or no cost measures and measures where some investment may be required either to apply the measures, or to investigate the potential to apply measures in more detail. The manager should also be provided with, or informed how to obtain, access to advice on the ongoing management of the systems, particularly that contained in existing free publications such as the Carbon Trust’s Good Practice Guides.