Display Energy Certificates

Under this legislation it is the responsibility of every occupier of a building affected by these Regulations to display a DEC in a prominent place clearly visible to the public, from 4 January 2009 unless there are exceptional circumstances.

This obligation was introduced by law1 and is to be enforced by Trading Standards Officers.

A Display Energy Certificate shows the energy performance of a building based on actual energy consumption as recorded annually over periods up to the last three years. DECs need to be updated each year. Property managers affected by this law will need to have annual energy meter readings and are advised to start collecting meter readings now to ensure they have sufficient data.

1. SI 2007:991 The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) 2007.

What Buildings will be Affected?

Only buildings occupied or part occupied either by a public authority or an institution, that provides a public service, and expect to be visited by the public to a large number of persons and who are therefore frequently visited by those persons, and with a total useful floor area1 greater than 1000m2 are affected by this legislation.

Where a building is partly occupied by a public authority or a relevant institution, the authority or institution is responsible for displaying a DEC and having a valid advisory report. Other private organisations occupying the building, irrespective of the size they occupy, do not need to display a DEC.

1. The Total useful floor area is defined as the total area of all enclosed spaces measured to the internal face of the external walls. Included are areas of sloping surfaces such as staircases, galleries, raked auditoria, and tiered terraces where the area taken is from the area on the plan. Excluded are areas that are not enclosed such as open floors, covered ways and balconies.

Information that needs to be collected

If you are affected by this legislation and are required to display a DEC by 4 January 2009, you should start collecting energy consumption data now. You will need to obtain actual meter readings or consignment notes for all fuels used in your buildings that are affected by this legislation. This may include gas fuels, oil fuels, solid fuels, district heating and cooling, grid electricity and electricity generated on site or obtained by private distribution systems from other sites.

For district heating and cooling and electricity generated on site, or obtained by private distribution systems from other sites, you will also need to obtain the average carbon factor for the service over the accounting period e.g. in kg of carbon dioxide per kWh delivered

You can obtain this information from a number of sources:

  • on-site energy meters
  • the building landlord or representative
  • the utility supplier
  • the district heating/cooling provider

For affected buildings that are on a site or campus, energy metering information can be collected at site level rather than building level. Although multiple small buildings on a campus where each building is less than 1000m2 are excluded, if these buildings are linked to one another by a heated space or are served by the same heating or cooling system then a DEC is required. The energy consumption for each separate building or each group of linked buildings with total useful floor area1 exceeding 1000m2, will then be derived by proportioning on the basis of floor area.

1. The Total useful floor area is defined as the total area of all enclosed spaces measured to the internal face of the external walls. Included are areas of sloping surfaces such as staircases, galleries, raked auditoria, and tiered terraces where the area taken is from the area on the plan. Excluded are areas that are not enclosed such as open floors, covered ways and balconies.

Public authority or Relevant Institution responsibilities

It is the responsibility of the public authority or relevant institution providing a public service to display a DEC in each of their buildings affected by the legislation and have in their possession a valid Advisory Report for each of these buildings which conveys recommendations to improve energy performance.

If you are required to display a DEC, by 4 January 2009 you need to:

  • have sufficient fuel and energy consumption data for the affected buildings to enable calculation of the year’s carbon emissions. The calculation must be carried out using the approved method
  • have employed an Accredited Energy Assessor to produce a DEC and Advisory Report for each of your affected buildings

Under this new legislation the occupier of an affected building must:

  • display a valid DEC in a prominent place clearly visible to the public at all times
  • have in their possession or control a valid Advisory Report

Timescales

From 4th January 2009 you will need to display a DEC with Operational and Asset Ratings and have in your possession an Advisory Report. If you occupy a building after 1 October 2008 you may not yet be in possession of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which is required for the sale, rent or construction of commercial buildings > 10,000m2 from 6 April 08, commercial buildings >2,500m2 from 1 July 2008 and all other buildings from 4 January 2009. Without an EPC you will not have an Asset Rating.

If you are a new occupier, or have been in occupation for less than 15 months by 4 January 2009, you may not have the annual fuel meter readings available which are required for an Operational Rating. The legislation makes provisions for these cases.

DECs must be renewed every 12 months. Also consult this chart at renewal to check what is required.

Obtaining a DEC

An Energy Assessor, accredited to produce display energy certificates for that type of building, is the only person who can produce a DEC and Advisory Report for your building. The approved calculation method for Operational Ratings mentioned above will be used.
Firstly the energy consumption data you provide will be reviewed by the assessor in line with the approved method. Adjustments may be made for occupancy, intensity of use, special energy uses, weather and climate.

The carbon dioxide emissions for the certificate are based on the adjusted energy consumption and total useful floor area1 and building type to give a measured CO 2 emission per square metre.

The assessor will then produce a DEC and an Advisory Report from this information in line with the approved method. The DEC will need to be lodged in a national register by the assessor and given a unique certificate reference number.

1. The Total useful floor area is defined as the total area of all enclosed spaces measured to the internal face of the external walls. Included are areas of sloping surfaces such as staircases, galleries, raked auditoria, and tiered terraces where the area taken is from the area on the plan. Excluded are areas that are not enclosed such as open floors, covered ways and balconies.

What a DEC contains and looks like

A DEC must contain, by law1, the following information:

  • the operational rating and the asset rating (if available) as determined by the government approved method
  • show the operational ratings for the building expressed in any certificates displayed by the occupier during the last two years before the nominated date
  • include a reference value such as a current legal standard or benchmark

The DEC will also show the unique certificate reference number, the address of the building, the total useful floor area2 of the building, the name of the energy assessor, their employer (or trading name if self employed), the name of their accreditation scheme and the date when the DEC was issued. The DEC must be accompanied by an Advisory Report. DECs are valid for 12 months, Advisory Reports 7 years.

1. SI 2007:991 The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) 2007.

2. The Total useful floor area is defined as the total area of all enclosed spaces measured to the internal face of the external walls. Included are areas of sloping surfaces such as staircases, galleries, raked auditoria, and tiered terraces where the area taken is from the area on the plan. Excluded are areas that are not enclosed such as open floors, covered ways and balconies.

What a DEC looks like

An example of what a DEC might look like is shown to the right – a full version is also available to download at the bottom of this page. The Operational Rating is a numerical indicator of the actual annual carbon dioxide emissions from the building. This Rating is shown on a scale from A to G, where A is the lowest (best) and G is the highest (worst). Also shown are the Operational Ratings for the last two years; this provides information on whether the energy performance of the building is improving or not.

The Advisory Report will contain recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building. A DEC is valid for 12 months and needs to be updated annually. The accompanying Advisory Report is valid for 7 years.

Example of a display energy certificate

What a DEC contains and looks like

A DEC must contain, by law1, the following information:

  • the operational rating and the asset rating (if available) as determined by the government approved method
  • show the operational ratings for the building expressed in any certificates displayed by the occupier during the last two years before the nominated date
  • include a reference value such as a current legal standard or benchmark

The DEC will also show the unique certificate reference number, the address of the building, the total useful floor area2 of the building, the name of the energy assessor, their employer (or trading name if self employed), the name of their accreditation scheme and the date when the DEC was issued. The DEC must be accompanied by an Advisory Report. DECs are valid for 12 months, Advisory Reports 7 years.

1. SI 2007:991 The Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) 2007.

2. The Total useful floor area is defined as the total area of all enclosed spaces measured to the internal face of the external walls. Included are areas of sloping surfaces such as staircases, galleries, raked auditoria, and tiered terraces where the area taken is from the area on the plan. Excluded are areas that are not enclosed such as open floors, covered ways and balconies.

What a DEC looks like

sample-decAn example of what a DEC might look like is shown to the right – a full version is also available to download at the bottom of this page. The Operational Rating is a numerical indicator of the actual annual carbon dioxide emissions from the building. This Rating is shown on a scale from A to G, where A is the lowest (best) and G is the highest (worst). Also shown are the Operational Ratings for the last two years; this provides information on whether the energy performance of the building is improving or not.

The Advisory Report will contain recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building. A DEC is valid for 12 months and needs to be updated annually. The accompanying Advisory Report is valid for 7 years.

 

 

Example of a display energy certificate

Penalties if a DEC is not displayed

Civil law applies and Weights and Measures Authorities (usually Trading Standards) have the duty of enforcement.

They can act on complaints from the public or make random investigations. If the authorities believe you are affected by the regulations, they can request you produce the relevant documents. You must provide this information within 7 days of the request. They may take copies of any document you provide for inspection.

Failure to comply with their request or the regulations may result in the issue of a penalty charge notice. Penalty charge notices can only be issued within 6 months of the date a DEC and advisory report was required.

The penalty 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, it is still necessary to commission the documents.

If you can demonstrate that you have taken all reasonable steps to avoid breaching the regulations, then the penalty charge notice may be withdrawn.

If you believe the penalty charge notice should not have been given you can request a review. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the review you may appeal to the county court within 28 days after you received notice confirming the penalty charge notice.

Frequently asked Questions

What changes are being made to Display Energy Certificates?

The arrangements being announced allow a single site based DEC and AR to be prepared that covers all the qualifying buildings for the whole site.

Are site based Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Advisory Reports (ARs) a permanent arrangement?

No. This is a temporary provision lasting one year. After a year, each qualifying building should have its own DEC and AR, valid for 12 months and seven years respectively.

When are site based Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Advisory Reports (ARs) allowed?

Site based DECs and ARs are allowed if a site has metering at site level. If a building has its own meter, it should have its own DEC and AR.

Do site based Display Energy Certificates (DECs) involve changes to the software?

No. Guidance will be issued shortly to energy assessors to enable them to use the existing software to produce site based DECs.

How long will site based Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Advisory Reports (ARs) be valid for?

This is a temporary provision lasting one year. After a year, each qualifying building should have its own DEC and AR, valid for 12 months and seven years respectively.

If I produce a site based Advisory Report (AR), what happens after 12 months?

The AR is site based and generic for the first year. It must, however, include a recommendation to get an AR for each qualifying building after the first year. After this, there should be an AR for each qualifying building, which will then be valid for seven years.

Does a site based Display Energy Certificate (DEC) mean I only lodge one DEC and Advisory Report (AR) for all the buildings on the site?

Yes. There is only one lodgement, with one DEC and AR to cover the whole site and all the qualifying buildings. It will require a site address.

Where do I display a site based Display Energy Certificate (DEC)?

A copy of the site based DEC should be displayed on every qualifying building on the site.

Do I need a different type of assessor to get a site based Display Energy Certificate (DEC)?

No. The assessor must be an accredited DEC assessor.

Does the assessor need additional training to do a site based Display Energy Certificate (DEC)?

No, but additional guidance will be provided.

Which buildings on a campus need a Display Energy Certificate (DEC)?

Only buildings visited by the public that are > 1000 sq m require a DEC. Buildings that are readily accessible to the public and visited frequently (i.e. for meetings etc) on a campus will require a DEC. Buildings that are not e.g. restricted access research labs do not.

Do Halls of Residence require a Display Energy Certificate (DEC)?

Yes. Friends and relatives will normally visit Halls of Residence and therefore a DEC will be required. Likewise a Local Authority care home where friends and relatives visit will require a DEC.

Guidance talks about ‘institutions providing public services to a large number of persons’ and ‘frequently visited by those persons’. What does this mean in practice?

These phrases appear in the European directive and no further definition is provided. For an institution to qualify as a public service, criteria is provided in the published DEC guidance. With regard to large numbers of persons and frequently visited, it is sufficient for to have a few visitors a week to a building for an occupier to qualify. Conversely, a large number once a year, e.g. a military air show on a site normally closed to the public, would not qualify, nor would the one person making frequent visits.

Source: www.communities.gov.uk

Example of a display energy certificate