Display Energy Certificate (DEC)

Display Energy Certificates (DECs) rate the energy efficiency of your building based upon the actual energy consumed over a twelve month period.  The rating is based on the annual carbon emissions and runs from A (the best) to G (the worst).

Whatever type of property you have, we can help provide the Display Energy Certificates you need.  Our fully accredited assessors are experienced in dealing with all types and sizes of properties including shops, offices, factories, hotels, care homes, warehouses, workshops, stores and Listed Buildings.  We can  arrange assessments for single properties or entire portfolios.

Display Energy Certificates are required by qualifying buildings frequently visited by the public.  It is the occupier's responsibility to obtain the assessment if they qualify.  Typically they are required by educational establishments, local authorities, government buildings, healthcare facilities and charitable organisations.  Other businesses may also use Display Energy Certificates to help meet their obligations under the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

To discuss your organisation's Display Energy Certificate (DEC) needs please contact our team now.

Available from £150

Renewals from £95

Actual prices depend on size, complexity and location of the building.  Contact us for an actual quote.

Contact Us












Frequently Asked Questions

Since February 2009, site based Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Recommendation Reports no longer meet the requirements of the legislation.  All qualifying buildings on a site must now have their own Display Energy Certificate and Recommendation Report.  Therefore site-based DECs no longer serve a useful purpose and are not issued.

Site owners should be in the process of upgrading metering provision to ensure that the energy consumption of multiple buildings can be separately measured.  Where this has not yet been completed, the government currently allow a DEC assessment to be completed using disaggregated site data.  This is a process where the energy assessor can split the total energy consumption of the whole site up between all the buildings on it.  However, this is often a complex process where it applies and involves significant additional work for the assessor.  For the client, it also means that the information they will receive from the assessment will be less useful and any smaller buildings that would not require their own DEC and Recommendation Report will still need to be surveyed.

Recommendation Report Requirements

England
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland
England

In England, a valid Recommendation Report is legally required to be in place before a Display Energy Certificate is issued.  Your assessor will need to lodge one if either there is no report currently on the register or if the last report has expired.  In reality, both the Display Energy Certificate and Recommendation Report are usually added to the National Register at the same time.

The Recommendation Report must be for the same building and occupier as the DEC so they should both be accessible under the same entry on the register.  It is the responsibility of the energy assessor to check the register to ensure that the Recommendation Report is in place before lodging the Display Energy Certificate (DEC).

If a DEC is being used to meet an organisation’s obligations under the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) it must be accompanied by a valid Recommendation Report completed since the organisation’s previous ESOS report was finalised i.e. you can’t use the same report twice.

Scotland

In Scotland, Recommendation Reports  to accompany Display Energy Certificates (DECs) are voluntary.

However, if the DEC is being used to meet an organisation’s obligations under the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) it must be accompanied by a valid Recommendation Report.  This Recommendation Report must have been completed since the organisation’s previous ESOS report was finalised i.e. you can’t use the same report twice.

Wales

In Wales, a valid Recommendations Report is legally required to be in place before a Display Energy Certificate is issued.  Your assessor will need to lodge one if either there is no report currently on the register or if the last report has expired.  In reality, both the Display Energy Certificate and Recommendations Report are usually added to the National Register at the same time.

The Recommendations Report must be for the same building and occupier as the DEC so they should both be accessible under the same entry on the register.  It is the responsibility of the energy assessor to check the register to ensure that the Recommendations Report is in place before lodging the Display Energy Certificate (DEC).

If a DEC is being used to meet an organisation’s obligations under the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) it must be accompanied by a valid Recommendations Report completed since the organisation’s previous ESOS report was finalised i.e. you can’t use the same report twice.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, a valid Recommendations Report is legally required to be in place before a Display Energy Certificate is issued.  Your assessor will need to lodge one if either there is no report currently on the register or if the last report has expired.  In reality, both the Display Energy Certificate and Recommendations Report are usually added to the National Register at the same time.

The Recommendations Report must be for the same building and occupier as the DEC so they should both be accessible under the same entry on the register.  It is the responsibility of the energy assessor to check the register to ensure that the Recommendations Report is in place before lodging the Display Energy Certificate (DEC).

If a DEC is being used to meet an organisation’s obligations under the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) it must be accompanied by a valid Recommendations Report completed since the organisation’s previous ESOS report was finalised i.e. you can’t use the same report twice.

England
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland
England

Display Energy Certificates are designed to ensure that energy is being used efficiently in public buildings.  They consider how energy use is managed and  the measures that are in place to reduce consumption.  The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in England that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within England are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Display Energy Certificates (DECs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

Scotland

Scottish Display Energy Certificates are designed to show the public how efficiently energy is being used within a non-domestic building.  They are part of the Section 63 framework enabling building owners to avoid making energy efficiency improvements required by an Action plan.  They can also be used as part of the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS).

The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in Scotland that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within Scotland are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Display Energy Certificates (DECs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

Wales

Display Energy Certificates are designed to ensure that energy is being used efficiently in public buildings.  They consider how energy use is managed and  the measures that are in place to reduce consumption.  The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in Wales that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within Wales are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Display Energy Certificates (DECs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

Northern Ireland

Display Energy Certificates are designed to ensure that energy is being used efficiently in public buildings.  They consider how energy use is managed and  the measures that are in place to reduce consumption.  The need for compliance is not affected by the historic nature or otherwise of the building.  As such, no exemptions from the requirements for these assessments exist for buildings in Northern Ireland that are listed or in formally designated conservation areas due to this status.

Listed Buildings and those in formally designated conservation areas within Northern Ireland are currently treated as any other building would be treated and require Display Energy Certificates (DECs) if they meet the other qualifying criteria.

Organisations are often surprised when they discover that they are subject to the requirement to obtain a Display Energy Certificate (DEC).  In fact, in the context of modern public service delivery, the term “Public Authority” is actually very misleading.  Many organisations that would not normally be considered councils or authorities actually require DECs.

If, as an organisation, you are unsure as to whether or not you are a Public Authority for the purposes of these regulations you should seek you own legal advice.  When considering if your not-for-profit or charity is subject to these regulations the key would normally be in deciding if you are a body “governed by public law”.  We have development the questionnaire below to help you decide.

Public Authority Self-Determination Questionnaire

Question 1:

Are you listed in Schedule 1 of The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (click to view) or Schedule 1 of The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (click to view), a regional authority or a local authority (county, borough, district, town, parish councils etc.)?

If your organisation is one of these then you are a “Public Authority” and will require DECs on the premises you occupy if the floor area and public visitation requirements are also met. If you are not listed you should continue to Question 2 to see if you are subject to the regulations through the additional criteria.

Question 2:

Do you have a legal personality for the purposes of the regulations? In effect, are you a legal body other than an individual?

Typical examples could include a Limited Liability Company (including charitable companies), Public Limited Company (PLC), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Community Interest Company (CIC), Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), Co-operative Society (Co-op), Community Benefit Society (BenCom) and Financial Mutual. If your organisation is any of these you may be a “Public Authority” and should continue to Question 3. If not, you probably have no legal personality in this sense and so are not subject to mandatory Display Energy Certificates.

Question 3:

Is your organisation established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, not having an industrial or commercial character?

A traditional business exists to make wealth (money) for distribution to its owners, investors and shareholders. In other words, it has industrial or commercial character and would not be considered a “Public Authority” hence you are not subject to mandatory Display Energy Certificates. In contrast, public bodies in this sense exist to meet the general needs of society or of communities. They often provide services like health, social care, education, child care and recreation etc on a not-for-profit basis. They typically use any profits they make from business activities to reinvest in the provision of these services. They may also have a legal “asset lock” preventing the distribution of any profits or assets to members or shareholders. If you are a public body then you may be a “Public Authority” and should continue to Question 4.

Question 4:

Does the majority of your finance come from the State, regional or local authorities or other bodies governed by public law?

If the majority of your organisation’s funding comes from the government, regional authorities, local councils or other public bodies (likely to include grants from charities etc) then you are a “Public Authority” and will require Display Energy Certificates for the premises you occupy if the floor area and public visitation requirements are also met. If not, continue to Question 5.

Question 5:

Are you subject to management supervision from the State (including central government departments), regional or local authorities or other bodies governed by public law?

A simple way of determining this is to consider if you are free to run your organisation as you wish or whether you have to account for decisions that are made or actions taken to another organisation. For example, most organisations receiving public money have to report upon the activities funded directly or indirectly back to the funding organisation, i.e. they are subject to supervision to ensure the money is spent as intended. Registered Charities are subject to the supervision of the Charity Commission which is part of the State. Similarly NHS practices are subject to supervision from the Department of Health through NHS Trusts and schools, colleges and academies are subject to supervision by the Department of Education through OfSTED. If you are subject to management supervision then you are a “Public Authority” and will require Display Energy Certificates on the premises you occupy if the floor area and public visitation requirements are also met. If not, continue to Question 6.

Please Note: Educational establishments should remember that students are considered to be members of the public under these regulations.

Question 6:

Do you have an administrative, managerial or supervisory board with more than half its members appointed by the State (including central government departments), regional or local authorities or other bodies governed by public law?

If your organisation does then it is a “Public Authority” and will require Display Energy Certificates on the premises it occupies if the floor area and public visitation requirements are also met. If not, you are probably not a “Public Authority” and so will not require mandatory DECs on the premises you occupy. However, “Public Authorities” are exempted from ESOS and so you will be subject to the requirements of the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) if you meet the other qualifying criteria.

The cost of a Display Energy Certificate can be very variable depending upon the information provided and the form that information is supplied in.  As you would expect, the easier it is for the accredited assessor to complete the assessment, the lower the cost will be.  Here are some tips to help keep the cost down but please contact us for more information and advice if required.

Provide timely and accurate information.

Prior to conducting a site visit the assessor will require certain information about the building.  They will also require energy consumption data.  By ensuring the information you provide is accurate and that all the requested information is provided promptly you can ensure the process runs smoothly without delays.  This will reduce both your direct and indirect costs.

Provide accurate floor plans with a confirmed GIA.

Measuring a building from scratch to calculate the Gross Internal Area (GIA) and producing floor plans is the worst case scenario for a DEC assessor.  Having to do this will quickly increase the cost of providing you with a Display Energy Certificate.  Providing the assessor with an acceptable method of confirming the floor area and layout of the building(s) can save days of work larger projects like colleges, hospitals, universities and the like.  Accurate scaled floor plans produced by an architect or surveyor annotated with the Gross Internal Area (GIA) are ideal.  In other cases fire plans for the building together with the GIA from a formal asset register are acceptable.

Provide complete, accurate and consolidated energy data.

Accurate and comprehensive energy data is also very important. Many organisations already report annual energy consumption over specific periods. If you have already collated this information for a particular period please discuss how this can be utilised to reduce the duplication of data collection with your assessor.  Your assessor can also advise on easy methods of accurately collecting the required information for future assessments.  The ideal is a clear list of monthly meter readings and stocktake levels for any non-metered fuels.  The worst case are piles of energy bills and fuels purchase receipts that the assessor will have to sort through.

Contract with a single assessor for 7 years.

Anywhere other than Scotland, Display Energy Certificates (DECs) work on either a seven or ten year cycle depending upon the size of the building.  Small buildings are issued with a certificate and recommendation report both of which are valid for ten years.  These are easy to renew when required and a site visit will have to be carried out every time.  However, large buildings have certificates that are only valid for one year while their recommendation reports are valid for seven years.  Providing there are no changes to either the assessor conducting the assessment or significant changes to the building renewal certificate can be issued without revisiting the site.  In effect, this means that you only need to pay for the most expensive part (the site visit) once every seven years.

Get expert advice before inviting tenders.

If you are thinking of inviting tenders for providing Display Energy Certificates (DECs) across a portfolio of properties get expert advice first to help develop your tender criteria.  We often see very poorly worded documents, often clearly written by someone who doesn’t understand the process or requirements for the service they are requesting.  Getting the details right from the start can prevent issues further down the line whilst ensuring you get the best prices available on the market.

England
Scotland
Wales
Northern Ireland
England

For buildings in England, the validity of a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and Recommendations Report (RR) depend upon the floor area of the building.

For buildings with a Gross Internal Area (GIA) greater than 1000m2, the certificate is currently valid for one year and the Recommendation Report (formerly an Advisory Report) for up to seven years.

For buildings with a Gross Internal Area (GIA) less than 1000m2, both the certificate and accompanying Recommendations Report are currently valid for up to ten years.

However, significant changes to the occupation of the building or its floor area may require a new Display Energy Certificate or Recommendations Report.  Both are also entirely dependent upon the occupier of the building so a change in occupier will require a new assessment to be completed.

Scotland

In Scotland Display Energy Certificates (DECs) are required annually for buildings deferring their Section 63 Action Plans.  The reporting requirements fro public buildings are met through the Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) system instead.  As a result, all Display Energy Certificates (DECs) are valid for one year.

There is currently no legal requirement to have Recommendations Report in Scotland and so a validity period is not relevant in this context.

Wales

For buildings in Wales, the validity of a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and Recommendations Report (RR) depend upon the floor area of the building.

For buildings with a Gross Internal Area (GIA) greater than 1000m2, the certificate is currently valid for one year and the Recommendation Report (formerly an Advisory Report) for up to seven years.

For buildings with a Gross Internal Area (GIA) less than 1000m2, both the certificate and accompanying Recommendations Report are currently valid for up to ten years.

However, significant changes to the occupation of the building or its floor area may require a new Display Energy Certificate or Recommendations Report.  Both are also entirely dependent upon the occupier of the building so a change in occupier will require a new assessment to be completed.

Northern Ireland

For buildings in Northern Ireland, the validity of a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and Recommendations Report (RR) depend upon the floor area of the building.

For buildings with a Gross Internal Area (GIA) greater than 1000m2, the certificate is currently valid for one year and the Recommendation Report (formerly an Advisory Report) for up to seven years.

For buildings with a Gross Internal Area (GIA) less than 1000m2, both the certificate and accompanying Recommendations Report are currently valid for up to ten years.

However, significant changes to the occupation of the building or its floor area may require a new Display Energy Certificate or Recommendations Report.  Both are also entirely dependent upon the occupier of the building so a change in occupier will require a new assessment to be completed.

For the purposes of Display Energy Certificates (DECs), a building is a construction with a roof, walls and it uses energy to condition the indoor climate.  The indoor climate is conditioned where the building has, or would be expected to have, any of the following fixed services:

  • Heating;
  • Cooling; and/or
  • Mechanical ventilation (this means the supply of fresh air and extraction of stale air – not just an extraction fan).

It is not uncommon for a site to have multiple buildings or a large building built in multiple phases.  If two or more structures on the same site are linked by a fully enclosed structure consisting of a roof and walls, even if the link is not itself conditioned, then the combined structure can be considered a single building for Display Energy Certificate assessment purposes.  This is on the proviso that the structures have not been designed or altered to be used separately (usually by separate occupiers). This approach is particularly sensible when the different parts are serviced by the same common systems and where sufficient sub-metering is not in place to separate energy consumption.  However, each part may still be treated separately which can be useful in identifying energy efficiency improvements and monitoring energy usage in buildings with significantly different constructions.

Our assessors are often asked questions around this theme.  Questions like:

  • Do I need a Display Energy Certificate if the public only visit part of the building e.g. Reception?
  • Only students and staff use the building, do I still need a DEC?
  • How often do members of the public need to visit before I need to obtain and display a DEC?

The key here is the frequency, not the number of visitors.  A small number of people visiting the building weekly would meet this definition.  However, a large number visiting once a year (e.g. for an open day) would not.

However, it is important to note that visitors only have to visit part of the building.  They do not need to have access to all of it to be considered a visitor.  Someone visiting a reception area, however small, would be considered to be visiting the building.

Employees, residents of the building, suppliers, contractors or specially invited people (e.g. job applicants invited for interview) are not considered to be members of the public.  However, students at an educational institution are considered to be members of the public.  Equally, residents in a complex visiting other buildings on the same site would normally be considered to be members of the public, particularly if they are not actually resident in the building being visited.  In a healthcare setting, patients are considered to be members of the public.

So, in summary, if any part of a building is visited frequently by any number of members of the public then the whole building will require a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) if the other qualifying criteria are met.

In order to produce a certificate your assessor will require the following information for each building:

  • The name and address of the building including the postcode;
  • Some details about how your building is used and maintained;
  • The Total Useable Floor Area (TUFA) or Gross Internal Area (GIA) of the building;
  • Metered energy consumption (gas & electricity) for a 12 month period*;
  • Measurement of any other energy consumption e.g. oil & solid fuel;
  • The published opening hours of the building;
  • Details relating to on-site renewables and low or zero carbon technologies;
  • Details of any surplus energy exported to the grid.

To produce their first certificate for any building or to update the Recommendations Report (formerly Advisory Report) that accompanies the certificate, the assessor will also visit the building. During this visit the assessor will need to visit plant rooms, meters, air conditioning systems and occupied areas to gather evidence for their report. They will also take photographs of your building and the systems installed within it. These photos are only to show features of the building fabric, its layout and how energy is being used so the assessor will avoid including people or sensitive information wherever possible.

All information obtained will be securely stored and only used for the purpose of producing your Display Energy Certificate and Advisory Report. If you have any concerns please discuss these with the assessor who can also let you review photographs taken if required so that you can be reassured these are appropriate. It may also help to arrange for the assessor to visit the building outside normal opening hours when less people will be about.

* This information may come from your own meter readings or energy bills. The information supplied does not have to cover exactly 365 days but information for all fuels needs to cover more or less the same period. Further details can be obtained from the assessor if required.

Load More