Explaining TM44 Inspections: The what, who, when and why
EIC explores the purpose of TM44 inspections, why your organisation might need one and how EIC can help you get one.
What is TM44?
TM44 is the accepted guidance for the UK for judging the efficiency of air-conditioning units. The key role of the guidance is to support inspections to comply with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). However, they can provide assistance to any building owner or manager desiring further data on the efficiency of their air-conditioning system. The EPBD1 was initiated in 2003 and replaced a decade later by a recast Directive2.
The legislation required that European members devise ‘measures to establish a regular inspection of air-conditioning systems of an effective rated output of more than 12 kW’.
Who needs a TM44?
Not all air-conditioning systems are equal; TM44 focuses on those that use refrigerants for cooling, and parts of other cooling methods such as cooled decks/ceiling slabs or those using aquifers for cooling.
The 12kW figure is a good rule of thumb, making any building owner or manager with a system of that scale subject to TM44. It is important to note that this applies to single large-scale units with an output of 12kW and to individual units that together reach or exceed 12kW.
When is a TM44 necessary?
Inspections timings are relevant here since each mandatory inspection must take place within five years of the previous one. According to TM44 guidance, the initial inspection must satisfy the following criteria:
- Any system that began service on or after 1st January 2008, must have undergone an initial inspection within five years of the date service began.
- Systems whose output exceeds 250kW must have undergone inspection no later than 4th January 2009.
- Systems with a service start date prior to 1st January 2008 and whose output exceeds 12kW must have received inspection by 4th January 2011.
From 6 April 2012, all TM44 air-conditioning inspection reports have been required to be lodged on the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government Energy Performance of Buildings Register where a report and certificate are generated. Accredited assessors and members of the public may access this site to view and download their TM44 certificates and reports.
Why is TM44 important?
There are several benefits to having a TM44 inspection. Firstly, a company can avoid penalties for non-compliance. These penalties are costly, inviting a £300 fine per offence – meaning either a non-complying building or multiple units inside a single structure whose combined output is more than 12kW, and if an organisation fails to supply a copy of their inspection report within seven days of request by an enforcement authority, they can incur an additional fixed penalty of £200 per building or unit. Enforcement Officers can check at any time whether a building or unit is compliant.
TM44 is an excellent data gathering opportunity about a major source of utility costs, offering insight on how to:
- Improve efficiency
- Reduce electricity consumption
- Decrease operating costs
- Diminish carbon emissions
- Reduce maintenance needs
- Improve controls and settings
- Identify technical flaws
The report will also highlight opportunities such as:
- Improvement to operation
- Improvements to replace less efficient systems
- Replacement of oversized systems (scale of the system relative to cooling load)
When viewed with these gains in mind, TM44 can be thought of a necessary process that yields significant benefits down the line.
Securing your TM44 with EIC
The EIC team were among the first to receive UK accreditation for the delivery of air–conditioning inspections and actively follow any legislative changes so they can keep businesses ahead of the game.
The team can also provide Wrap Reports as standard, offering an overview of essential report findings including reference pictures, additional relevant data and a complete asset list of equipment found.
Alongside this extensive experience, clients will receive additional complimentary intelligence in other areas of sustainable improvement. EIC’s expertise in other fields like Energy Contract Procurement and Intelligent Building Management will position organisations to undertake other sustainable development projects seamlessly, with guidance and security.
For a full breakdown of EIC’s compliance services, and how your organisation can acquire TM44 Certification, get in touch with the EIC team here.
3(Statutory instrument 2012 N0 3118)
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