So 8 years on after Display Energy Certificates (DECs) were first introduced into England and Scotland have they had the impact that was hoped?
Unfortunately like other legislation designed to encourage the reduction in energy consumption such as the (CRC) Carbon Reduction Commitment energy efficiency scheme and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) the majority of participants are failing to grasp the opportunities that DECs provide. The reality is that DECs are viewed as strictly a compliance exercise as opposed to an opportunity to reduce energy waste. It is no great surprise then that in February 2015 a consultation was set up to look at ways of improving the DEC regime of which we are still awaiting the outcome.
Participants with this attitude towards DECs are missing a big opportunity to realise energy savings in their buildings by raising awareness and engaging building occupants about how their actions impact energy efficiency. This attitude is all the more confusing given the budget constraints that public sector energy mangers have to work with. Why not make the most of the tools already available?
There has however been increased appetite in recent years from private sector organisations to voluntarily participate in the production of DECs for their buildings – particularly those with large multi-site estates such as retail outlets. Why? A major reason for this has been the increase in employee engagement campaigns over recent years with DECs being seen as the ideal method to measure the impact of these campaigns. DEC ratings are updating annually so it is clear to see where improvements have been made following such campaigns or where further focus is required. So even though DECs are not mandatory in the private sector their value is not going unnoticed.
Indeed, even ESOS formally recognised DECs as one of the routes to compliance. Perhaps public bodies can learn a thing or two from the private sector and make the most of the DEC scheme while it is still around…
Display Energy Certificates (DECs) were first introduced in England & Wales in October 2008 as part of the EU Energy Performance for Buildings Directive (EPBD). The aim of DECs is to promote year on year improvement of energy performance by raising awareness of building occupants and implementing the measures identified in the accompanying advisory report (AR). Buildings are rated from A – G with A being the most efficient. When first introduced all public buildings in England & Wales over 1,000m2 were required to have a valid DEC and AR in place. In 2015 then rules were updated meaning that all public buildings between 250 – 1000m2 require a DEC and AR although both are only required to be renewed once every ten years.
SMS has a wealth of experience in providing DECs and ARs for both public and private sector customers and has lodged over 2,000 DECs and ARs since 2008. SMS has a number of qualified DEC assessors as well as offering a wide range of energy services including employee engagement, M&T and asset investments projects. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!