Make your building super efficient with a Power DEC

Utility Wise

Public authorities like schools, galleries and leisure centres have to display a DEC. Did you know you can also use it as a powerful tool for improving energy efficiency?

Getting efficiency right and effective
Business visionary Peter Drucker said: “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things,” and you achieve both with a Display Energy Certificate (DEC).

Under European Directives 2002/91/EC and 2010/31/EU, you must display a DEC at any public building or one that’s frequently visited by the public in England and Wales, when it has a total useful floor area of 250m2 or more. By law, you must also have an advisory report.

It’s advantageous having both. First, your local authority can charge a penalty of £500 for not displaying the DEC and £1,000 for failing to have a valid report. Second, if you take on board the report’s recommendations you can improve your building’s energy performance.

It’s a must to show your ratings
Display Energy Certificate regulations apply wherever your building is located in England and the UK. It could be a museum in London, a library in Manchester, universities and colleges in Birmingham, or a sports and social centre in Leeds.

Any building that’s frequently visited by the public must, under Environmental Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) legislation, of which DEC is part, show its energy performance.

The DEC will display your operational ratings for the building from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This is based on actual energy consumption over the last 12 months

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. For buildings with a total useful floor area of between 250m2 and 1,000m2, the DEC and advisory report are valid for 10 years.

More to DEC than meets the eye
As well as displaying your energy usage, the DEC requirements also help you keep tabs on your energy without superhuman effort.

Your DEC, and the advisory report that goes with it, has to be produced by an accredited energy assessor. There’s a whole team at Utilitywise, the UK’s largest energy consultancy, who can help you supercharge your savings.

The report will recommend improvements to your building that are designed to drive up its energy efficiency, reduce your fuel bills, cut carbon emissions and improve the public’s perception of it.

Since non-domestic buildings are responsible for about 20 per cent of total UK CO2 emissions, according to leading authority on the built environment BRE, it’s good PR to be seen to be doing something to improve that statistic.

Any other questions?
Chris Toole from Utilitywise said: “People often ask our energy assessors whether a DEC is required if you are a public authority and rent the building you own to a private company that’s not a public service.

“Our answer is no. It’s up to the occupier to provide a DEC and if they’re a private firm they don’t have to display one anyway.”

You may also be wondering if you need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). They’re similar to a DEC and all domestic and commercial buildings in the UK, bought or rented, must have one as part of the EPBD.

An EPC is required to inform potential buyers or tenants about the energy efficient nature of your building and is valid for 10 years from date of issue. An EPC states an energy rating from A to G and is based on the performance potential of the building and its services. Before a DEC assessment can be carried out on a new build property, an EPC must be available for it.

You can read more about DECs and how Utilitywise’s energy assessors can help here.