- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 11 Jan 2018
Display energy certificate DEC
Display energy certificates (DEC's) show the energy performance of a building based on actual energy consumption. For certain types of building, they must be displayed prominently in a place visible to the public and are intended to raise public awareness of the energy use of buildings.
- have a roof and walls, and;
- use energy to condition an indoor climate, and;
- have a total usable floor area of over 500 square metres, and;
- are occupied by public authorities, and ;
- are frequently visited by the public.
They are valid for one year and must be updated annually, although for buildings less than 1,000 square metres they are valid for 10 years. An advisory report must also be prepared every seven years giving recommendations to owners and occupiers about making their building more energy efficient.
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) research Exploring the use of Display Energy Certificates, published in July 2013, suggested that, for organisations that are not engaged in energy management, collecting the information required can lead to a better understanding of energy usage. It can also provide building managers with evidence to help make the case for changes resulting in greater energy efficiency. For organisations that are already engaged in energy reduction, they help confirm which buildings are inefficient or those buildings that are not operating according to their design predictions.
A DECC Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme impact assessment, published in May 2013, analysed 48,000 display energy certificates and found that energy consumption per metre square of floor space fell by 2% more between 2008 and 2009 for public buildings with display energy certificates than comparable private sector buildings.
Display energy certificates can also be prepared for other buildings on a voluntary basis, and it was originally expected that the mandatory requirement would be rolled out over time to a wider range of buildings.
However, on 11 February 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) launched a consultation document, Display Energy Certificates: current regime and how it could be streamlined and improved, suggesting that, ‘It is possible that the current regulations for the issue and display of energy certificates in public buildings have gold-plated the requirements of the Directive.’
The purpose of the consultation is to inform updated guidance on display energy certificates and recommendation reports for public buildings. Most significantly, it proposes defining ‘frequently visited by the public’ as: 'daily attendance during days of operation by people for purposes unrelated to their residence, employment, education or training'. This would mean, for example, that a school used only as a school, would not need a display energy certificate because it is not daily attended by people who are neither staff nor pupils. A school that is also used for community functions would require a display energy certificate.
The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has said that the consultation "...simply beggars belief". Ref UKGBC Government proposal to scrap energy ratings for over 50,000 public buildings “beggars belief” 11 February 2015.
The consultation closed on 11 March 2015 and since then no decision appears to have been made. It is considered by some that the fact Eric Pickles' successor Greg Clark has been silent on the matter for so long, suggests the issue has been dropped, but in the absence of a statement on the matter from government, there remains uncertainty.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Air tightness.
- Building performance metrics.
- CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.
- Emission rates.
- Energy Act.
- Energy certificates for buildings.
- Energy performance certificate.
- Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
- Energy related products regulations.
- Energy savings opportunity scheme.
- Energy targets.
- Green building.
- Green Deal.
- Green mortgage.
- Minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES).
- Minimum energy efficiency standard regulations for domestic and non-domestic buildings.
- Non-domestic private rented property minimum standard.
- Performance gap.
- Public authority.
- Public building.
- Simplified Building Energy Model.
- Zero carbon homes.
- Zero carbon non-domestic buildings.
 External references
- Legislation: Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales).
- Department for Communities and Local Government: A guide to energy performance certificates for the construction, sale and let of non-dwellings.
- Department for Communities and Local Government: A guide to energy performance certificates for the construction, sale and let of dwellings.
- Department for Communities and Local Government: A guide to display energy certificates and advisory reports for public buildings.
- Department for Communities and Local Government: A guide to air conditioning inspections for buildings.
- Department for Communities and Local Government: Local weights and measures authority guidance for energy performance certificates and air conditioning inspections for buildings.
- Department for Communities and Local Government: Recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive - impact assessment.
- Guild of residential landlords: Changes to EPC Regulations 2013.
- RICS: Effectiveness of EPC for the Existing Housing Stock. September 2012.
- Jones Lang LaSalle: A Tale of Two buildings. Are EPCs a true indicator of energy efficiency? 2012.
Featured articles and news
What is biophilic design and how can it increase wellbeing?
80 experts come up with the top 7 mistakes the industry makes with BREEAM.
Compliance cannot be verified by inspection on delivery.
Some electric cars have batteries that give a range of over 350 miles.
Assembling, curating, caring for, and designing the future.
A sensitive approach to renovating a building of historic stature.
UK energy policy uncertainty as Welsh project put on hold
What collaborative working achieves and how it can be put in place.
BSRIA publishes the 2019 edition of its small but concise annual databook.
Using QSAND to measure the performance of disaster response.
What U-values are, why they matter and how they are calculated.
The need to ensure that we plan for all aspects of our bio-economy
BSRIA calls on government to reach deeper into the causes of pollution.