How important are DEC Certificates?

If you own a commercial building, you might have heard about DEC certificates. You might know that you should have one and maybe you don’t, or maybe you do have one but aren’t sure what it’s all about.

DEC stands for Display Energy Certificate, and it is a legal requirement for some public buildings to display it. The DEC gives an accurate record of the amount of energy that the building uses. The idea behind it is to make the use of energy more transparent in public buildings and is an EU requirement that is in place in many European countries.

A DEC looks very similar to an Energy Performance Certificate, except that it uses information taken from the energy company to give the building a rating on a scale of A – G (with A being the most energy efficient).

What can a DEC tell us?

DEC’s aren’t only there to satisfy the rules which are set out by the EU, they also have a lot of value in helping the world to cut down on its energy consumption, reducing carbon emissions and trying to prevent the irreversible climate change which is on our doorstep.

There are a number of key pieces of information which can be found on the DEC:

  • The Operational Rating – This is the A – G rating which can tell you how energy efficient the building is at a glance. This is a great way to get a simplified overview of how the building is actually doing, energy efficiency-wise. This can help potential buyers or renters to calculate energy use in the future, as well as make everybody who uses it aware of how energy efficient the building is.
  • Previous Energy Ratings – Allows anyone who wants to, compare how the building is doing now, to how it was previously. This puts things into context and means that the building owners can spot any changes (either up or down) and help to deal with them. It also helps the energy bill payers to roughly predict their future bills and to see whether any energy saving measures have made any difference.
  • Technical Information – Any technical information will also be given, explaining how the energy is used within the building. For those who understand the technical side of things, this can be useful in working out where the best and worse places might be to change in order to make it more energy efficient.
  • CO2 Emissions – The report will also give you details regarding the amount of CO2 that has been produced by the building per year. This is another way of helping us to visualise the extent of the impact that the building is having on the environment.
  • Advisory Report – Perhaps the most important part of all is the advisory report which is then produced. In the report, a number of suggestions will usually be given to help a building’s owner understand the possible changes which can be made in order to make it more energy efficient and improve the management of the building’s energy. This is essential in knowing how to improve your EPC rating.

The advisory report will give a number of suggestions from short term fixes, such as energy management measures, to medium term fixes like upgrading some parts of the building, through to longer-term solutions such as becoming carbon neutral. It is, of course at the discretion of the building owner whether to take these recommendations on board or not.

The whole idea behind creating the DEC rules in the EU was to promote transparency and allow people who are using public buildings to see just how energy efficient the building is. This makes both its visitors and its tenants or owner focus on saving energy in a public building,

The recommendations can be ranging from small to big, and by having these presented to them, it is easier for people to take the first steps towards implementing them.

When it comes to cutting down our carbon emissions, awareness is very important. To make any sort of a difference, we need to change the way that we live our lives, and this is only going to come through increased awareness – which is what the DEC helps to do.

So, in answer to the question about how important a DEC is, it is very important. For building owners, this could primarily be about ensuring that they comply with the rules and avoid any sort of punishment or fine of over £500. However, more importantly than this, the real value in having a DEC is in helping building owners to improve its energy efficiency and save money on energy bills, whilst increasing awareness amongst the general public. You can get your DEC certificate by contacting EPC London today.

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