TWO friends have returned from the sweltering heat of Brazil to help businesses legally keep their cool.
Gary Smith from Gateshead and Dave Ramsay from Cramlington, previously worked together in South America for Tyneside oil and gas firm Wellstream and decided to set up in business together after taking their redundancies from the pipeline company, which is now part of the US giant GE.
Now they are aiming to ensure that businesses with air conditioning units in their premises stay within the law and avoid unnecessary fines being dished out by inspectors.
Gary and Dave set up GSDR Ltd to carry out air conditioning efficiency reports, which are legally required by any commercial operator with an air conditioning system with an output of 12KW and older than five years.
Ironically, after qualifying as assessors with the Energy Trust, their first job was back at their old employer Wellstream's Walker site on the banks of the Tyne.
GSDR Ltd, based in Swalwell, carries out assessments for clients all across the North East, ranging from air conditioning companies to facilities management agencies, commercial estate agents, large manufacturers to banks. As well as air-conditioning reports, the pair carry out Non Domestic Energy Assessments (NDEA) and Display Energy Assessments (DEC)
Gary said: œIt's now a legal requirement for businesses that use air con systems of a certain size and age to have these assessments carried out and be able to produce the all-important Energy Performance Certificate. If businesses don't comply, they face a heavy fine of Â£300. œ
Although businesses are legally required to have the assessment carried out, it is not essential that they act on the recommendations provided within the report but doing so could lead to significant energy savings.
Dave said: œBusinesses can carry out the recommended work at their leisure but ensuring their equipment is energy efficient can be a major cost-saving. Our reports look at whether the units are working to their optimum efficiency and inform the client what to do if they're not.
Apart from reducing running costs, another advantage of obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate is that it can really help a company to demonstrate its commitment to the environment.
œBeing aware of the way that your air con works will go a long way to cut a businesses carbon footprint. It's a cool way of staying within the law as well as doing your bit for the environment and saving money too, said Dave.
The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations was introduced in the UK in 2007 as part of efforts to cut the CO2 emissions from commercial properties.
Photo shows Gary Smith and Dave Ramsay of GSDR Ltd with Wellstream in the background