What’s a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and am I complying with the latest legislation?

Latest Display Energy Certificate (DEC) Guide
The Government’s current guide on Display Energy Certificates was published by The Department for
Communities and Local Government (DCLG) back in August 2015.

Link below for the Display Energy Certificate Guide
A guide to display energy certificates and advisory reports for public buildings_DEC_Guidance_August 2015

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What is a Display Energy Certificate?

A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) illustrates the results within a graphical scale from A to G, where A has the lowest CO2 emissions (best) and G is the highest CO2 emissions (worst) and calculated on the actual amount of metered energy used by the building over the last 12 months. The DEC is also accompanied by an energy efficiency recommendation report called the Advisory report.

The DEC is very useful for benchmarking purposes as you can visually compare the previous three years energy consumption from the DEC. Some of our Clients use the DECs for identifying ‘Energy Conversation Opportunities’ within their property portfolios / estates. This enables them to identify which properties they can priorities on implementing energy efficiency measures and calculate the most cost effective solutions for reducing energy consumption.

Building Glass And Sunlight

Buildings that need a Display Energy Certificate

All public buildings with a total useful floor area greater than 250m², occupied by a public authority, which includes Central or Local Government departments and some non-departmental public bodies that are frequently visited by the public are obligated to have a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and Advisory Report (AR).

It is also required for an institution providing a public service that are traditionally provided by Central or Local Government, or are traditionally funded by the taxpayer in England and Wales, with a total floor area (gross internal floor area) exceeding 250m² (metre squared). DECs are required to inform how energy efficient a public building is in comparison to similar types. This benchmarking comparison is based on the energy consumptions over the past twelve months. Display Energy Certificates can only be produced by an accredited Energy Assessor and the valid certificate must be displayed no smaller than A3 in a prominent place (i.e. main entrance / reception) clearly visible to members of the public.

The building must also have in its possession or control a valid advisory report (i.e. at the main reception desk). The advisory report contains recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building. DECs must be produced for each of the buildings captured under his Regulation.

Fines can be issued for failing to display a valid DEC and failing to have a valid advisory report.

Commercial property owners may also commission a voluntary Display Energy Certificate and Advisory Report and is a route to ESOS compliance as an alternative to energy audits.

What about a DEC for Public Authority buildings?

Even if the building is partially occupied by a public authority (e.g. Local Council, Leisure centre, College, NHS trust) a DEC will be required under the Regulations.

Do the DEC Regulations apply to General Practice & Dental Surgeries?

Yes. As general practice (GP) & dental practices are in receipt of public funds and provide a public service to large numbers of people who visit regularly, GP & dental premises are included in the definition of a public building.

Who is responsible for arranging the DEC?

It is for the occupier of the building, rather than the owner to arrange the DEC (the use of the building will usually be dictated by the occupier so it would make sense for them to be responsible. However, the position might be different if an NHS landlord such a NHS Property Services or Community Health Partnership owns the building, rather than a private landlord, in which case they will probably be responsible for obtaining and paying for the DEC.

Validity period of Display Energy Certificates

If a 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 1,000m², the DEC and advisory report are valid for 10 years.

Floor Area (m²)Validity of DECValidity of advisory report
>250 or below <1,00010years10years

The assessment must be undertaken by an accredited energy assessor using the methodology approved by the Secretary of State.

Why act now?

Public sector organisations with the total floor area exceeding 250m² are required to display a valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC). The Regulations state if an eligible public sector building fails to display a valid DEC and Advisory Report, the organisation will be liable for a Penalty Charge Notice (fine) of up to £1,700 which could be repeated at the discretion of Trading Standards enforcement officer on a daily, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

The fines are based on the following non-compliance issues under the legislation:

  • Failure to display a valid DEC in a prominent place clearly visible to the public £500 per offence.
  • Failure to have in possession or control a valid advisory report £1,000 per offence.
  • The penalty for failing to produce the relevant documentation to an authorised enforcement officer when required is £200. In addition to these penalties, it will still be necessary to commission the documents; otherwise further offences will be committed. The DECs must be lodged on the Government database and Trading Standards can check remotely whether a building has a DEC or advisory report in place, this enables the Enforcement Officer to check whether a public building is compliant with the legislation.

Our DEC service process:

New Display Energy Certificate and Advisory Report
1Obtain relevant documentation from the Client and review before carrying out the site visit.
2Site visit.
3Process / validate 12 months energy utility invoices or energy data supplied by the client.
4Input data into Government approved ‘ORCalc software’ to generate a compliant DEC.
5Production of Advisory Report if required.
6Lodge the DEC & AR via our accreditation body to the official Government database.
7Deliver the DEC & AR in agreed format to the client.

DEC information required

  • Full address and postcode of the property
  • Full energy data you have available for Gas, Electricity and Oil (all that are applicable) for at least the past 12 months.
  • Details of any energy produced on site, such as photovoltaics (PV) meter readings or credit invoices.
  • Full scaled plans / layout drawings with measurements of the building, and a block plan of the site. The more accurate information the building operator can provide, the more competitive fee is likely to be.

Typical list of Public Authority buildings requiring a Display Energy
Certificates :-

  • Display Energy Certificates for Central and Local Government
  • Display Energy Certificates for Civic Theatres (Provided by Local Authority)
  • Display Energy Certificates for County, City & District Borough Councils
  • Display Energy Certificates for Community Halls
  • Display Energy Certificates for Magistrate Courts
  • Display Energy Certificates for Day Care Centres
  • Display Energy Certificates for Doctors Surgery
  • Display Energy Certificates for Fire Stations
  • Display Energy Certificates for Leisure centres (Provided by Local Authority)
  • Display Energy Certificates for Local Authority Buildings
  • Display Energy Certificates for Ministry of Defence (MOD)
  • Display Energy Certificates for Ministry of Transport
  • Display Energy Certificates for Municipal golf clubhouses
  • Display Energy Certificates for Museums & Art Galleries provided by Public Authorities
  • Display Energy Certificates for NHS Dentists
  • Display Energy Certificates for NHS Hospitals
  • Display Energy Certificates for NHS Trusts
  • Display Energy Certificates for Nurseries
  • Display Energy Certificates for Nursing Homes
  • Display Energy Certificates for Police Stations
  • Display Energy Certificates for Prisons
  • Display Energy Certificates for Public libraries
  • Display Energy Certificates for Schools, Colleges, Academies, Universities
  • Display Energy Certificates for Statutory Regulatory Bodies
  • Display Energy Certificates for Leisure centres, Swimming Pools and Gyms (Provided by Local Authority)
  • Display Energy Certificates for Theatres, Community Halls (Provided by Local Authority)

If you are unclear on whether your building / portfolio requires a Display Energy Certificate, please do contact us.

Our Assessors at Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd

We are experienced and accredited energy assessors with extensive Public Sector and Educational experience, ideally placed to deliver display energy certificates for Schools, Colleges, Universities, Health and Fitness Centres, Surgeries, Hospitals, Local Authority Buildings, Public Swimming Pools, Museums, Police / Fire Stations, Prison and Court services.

We are Regulated by the RICS and our Surveyors / Energy Assessors are Security cleared under the (Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), formerly Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

We offer accredited energy assessors from The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Sterling Accreditation & Stroma.

We can provide Display Energy Certificates and also give bespoke advice to assist you in cutting energy costs and carbon emissions in your buildings / portfolios. We only allow the highest calibre energy assessors to work with Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd.

Request a Display Energy Certificate Quotation

Should you have any queries regarding ‘Display Energy Certificates’, or after a quotation, then please do contact us at info@LCEA.co.uk or complete the request for a DEC quotation form on the right hand side.

“The above publications is the copyright of Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd and is not a statement of the law, but is intended to help building / energy & sustainability managers, owners and occupiers of buildings on how the Display Energy Certification process work in practice, how to apply and comply with the Display Energy Certificate Regulations, what their responsibilities are under the Display Energy Certificate Regulations.”

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