Back to Blog
At Aster Maintenance we are dedicated to providing you with affordable solutions to your building maintenance needs. Over the years we have honed our skills to improve your building and equipment’s performance without burning holes in your wallet. We work hard every day to ensure we are up to date on all regulations, as well as the latest tricks to make your systems more efficient. To that end, we are happy to announce that we have now been accredited as a Low Carbon Consultant and a Low Carbon Energy Assessor. This is fantastic news for us, and means we can pass on even more expertise directly to you.
What does this mean?
Put simply, this means that we are now more qualified than ever to help you reduce your energy consumption and keep your buildings running efficiently. By reducing your outgoing costs in several different ways you can gain an edge over your competition and maximise your savings.
Our engineers understand the importance of integrating renewable energy and carbon management into every stage of a building project, and even into the on-going management strategies. Our carbon reduction strategies help you work toward meeting your CO2 reduction goals and comply with all the latest legislation without doing the research yourself. This also means that we are able to add more value to every project we work on, allowing us to self certify buildings and systems for Part L Compliance and Energy Assessments, and can even undertake energy assessments of any building or machine, from a simple office building to a complex commercial property.
Why should we reduce our carbon output?
The phrase ‘carbon footprint’ has been making a comeback in recent years, with individuals and businesses all looking to cut their carbon emissions. Every person, business and household have their own carbon footprint, measured by the amount of CO2 produced every year. CO2 is one of the highest contributing factors to global warming and indirectly to the degradation of the ozone layer. Now, more and more businesses are looking to improve their efficiency and reduce their impact on the environment, and the first step towards that goal is reducing the amount of CO2 they produce.
But its not just saving the environment, reducing your expenditure, adding more to your bottom line. It’s also about improving your reputation in the business community and your standing as an eco-friendly and conscientious business. Meeting your corporate responsibilities is an important part of running an ethical business, and something we can help you achieve. The possibilities are endless.
How does a business become low carbon?
The first step for any business is to calculate their carbon footprint, to see just how much there is to reverse. There are some great tools out there to help you, but our personal favourite is the footprint measurement service available from the Carbon Trust. Once you have an idea of how big your carbon footprint is, you can start to see where the key pressure points are and identify the big energy using plant, equipment or processes. It could be that your building uses inefficient boilers to run it’s heating, when it could benefit more from a more modern installation. From there you can implement policies to combat those pressure points. Carpooling, cycle to work weeks and investing in more efficient infrastructure for your business are all ways you can cut down on your carbon emissions to achieve a cleaner, more profitable workplace.
For more information on reducing your carbon footprint, or to book your carbon reduction consultation, just get in touch with one of the Aster Maintenance experts today.
Back to Blog
We are taking a proactive approach to business’ compliance with regard to a new law coming into practice from 1st January 2015. The regulation prohibits the use of ozone-depleting HCFC gases, in particular R22, in the maintenance and servicing of all refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps.
Residential properties and businesses are both at threat, particularly in the food and drink industry, pharmaceutical, health, retail, hospitality, finance and data processing. Affected systems include fridges and freezers, blast chillers and cold stores, as well as many types of air conditioning and heat pumps
R22 refrigerant gas is commonly used in systems older than 2004. It has since been proven to increase UV radiation if released into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change, carbon emissions, rising energy costs, serious health problems and the decline of crop production.
The new law prevents the removal or addition of R22 gas during service and maintenance work. The penalties for breaking the law include large fines and, in extreme cases, company shutdown. This is the final stage of the phase-out which began in 1995, when the use of R22 in new equipment became illegal. In 2010, existing air conditioning was included, and since then, only recycled R22 has been permitted.
There are two options available. The recommended course action is to replace the system. Newer equipment uses refrigerant which has zero ozone-depleting potential and is proven to be more energy efficient. Alternatively, it may be possible for the existing system to have its refrigerant replaced with a more environmentally friendly type, however several considerations would need to be made, for example the system’s age, efficiency, reliability, compatibility with alternative gases, and the manufacturer’s own advice.
Any companies or households affected by the impending legislation should be making provisions in preparation for change. Most companies should have an environmental policy which states its commitment to reducing energy consumption.
Landlords, tenants and professional advisors should consider the ban when negotiating new lease terms. The Energy Act (2011) made it unlawful to let properties with low energy performance ratings without working to make improvements. Prospective tenants may be reluctant to agree to a fully-repairing lease and may demand replacement systems before signing. Several sources predict a 2 tier market may arise, where there are different lease values for offices with R22 and those without. Tenants should inspect new contracts carefully, to ensure cost liability for old R22 systems is not their responsibility.
The newer, more environmentally friendly refrigerants also carry their own hazards. A specialist Refcom and ACRIB accredited refrigeration engineer is always required to handle them safely.