Display Energy Certificate

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Display Energy Certificates (DECs)[edit]

Since 1 October 2008 public buildings in the UK over 500m2 must display a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) prominently at all times. Display Energy Certificates were introduced by the British Government in response to the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive which all EU member states must implement by January 2009.

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 1,000m2 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 The option to generate a default G rating was withdrawn on April 16, 2011.

The penalty for failing to display a DEC where required is £500 and the penalty for not having an advisory report available is £1,000. However, the enforcement authority is usually the local authority, so the system is largely self-policing.

In the future the Government is expected to extend the requirement for DECs to smaller public buildings and perhaps to large privately owned buildings which the public have access to, such as supermarkets.

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