DECs : Display Energy Certificates
Since 9th July 2015 public buildings in the UK over 250m2 must display a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) prominently at all times.
Public authorities and institutions that require a DEC would include, for example:
- NHS Trusts
- Healthcare centres (but not private care/nursing homes)
- Hospitals (but not private hospitals unless NHS patients are admitted as well)
- Leisure centres (but not private health clubs)
- Schools and higher education authorities, including universities (but not private schools)
- Large central post offices
- Police stations, prisons and courts
- Public libraries and museums and art galleries sponsored by public authorities
The aim of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is for the public to receive energy information about a building they are visiting.
Where the building has a total useful floor area of more than 1,000m², the DEC is valid for 12 months. The accompanying advisory report is valid for seven years. Where the building has a total useful floor area of between 250m² and 1000m², the DEC and advisory report are valid for 10 years.
DECs are designed to promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings. They are based upon actual energy usage of a building and increase transparency about the energy efficiency of public buildings. The certificate looks similar to the energy labels provided on new cars and electrical appliances such as fridges and freezers – it uses a similar scale for energy efficiency, i.e. from A to G with A being the most efficient and G the least. The A3 sized certificate is valid for one year and is accompanied by an Advisory Report (AR) which is valid for seven years. The advisory report is designed to help building owners occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings so that future DECs show a better rating. ARs do not need to be displayed, but must be available
DECs and ARs must be undertaken by an accredited energy assessor using Government approved software. In order to produce the DEC the energy assessor needs to know the gross internal floor area of the building and the operating hours together with actual meter readings or consignment notes for all fuels used during the year of assessment. It is, therefore, important for owners and occupiers of public buildings over 250m2 to maintain good records of fuel used. If the energy assessor does not have access to suitable and sufficient information then a DEC cannot be produced.
The penalty for each breach is £500 for failing to display a DEC at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public and £1,000 for failing to have possession of a valid advisory report. In addition to these penalties, of course, it is still necessary to commission a DEC and an advisory report.
In the future the Government is expected to extend the requirement for DECs large privately owned buildings which the public have access to, such as supermarkets.
If you need to know more about DECs, please contact us.