How can I reduce the cost of Display Energy Certificates (DECs)?

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.