Display Energy Certificate

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What is a DEC?

A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) is a record of the actual energy that a public building uses – regardless of whether or not it is in the private sector. These energy performance certificates are used in several European countries as a result of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. The aim of a DEC certificate is to make the amount of energy used in public buildings more transparent.

A DEC certificate looks incredibly similar to the energy efficiency labels you see on many energy related appliances. It also follows a similar type of scaling system to the Energy Performance Certificate.

You can book an appointment to obtain your DEC by choosing the office closest to you. Our locations include EPC Certificate LondonEPC Certificate Glasgow, and more. To see our other locations click here.

What will a DEC tell you?

A Display Energy Certificate will tell you how much energy is used by a building. It uses a scale from the energy network to provide this information. The scale runs from A-G, with A being the most efficient rating and G being the least efficient.

Organisations without knowledge of their energy management can benefit from what a DEC tells you and assist in attaining a better understanding of energy usage. It gives building owners an understanding of how they can make changes in order to be more energy efficient and energy saving – giving potential insights to the advantages of renewable energy and a revised energy procurement policy.

What is the difference between an EPC and a DEC?

You may have heard of an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and be wondering what the difference is between this and a Display Energy Certificate (DEC). They are both an important energy certificate to have but they do differ. In order to see what the difference is you need to understand that an Energy Performance Certificate is a rating of how energy efficient a domestic building’s home energy should be. If the building is operated in a wasteful manner then it may not be as energy efficient as it could potentially be. However, as local government advice explains, a Display Energy Certificate is a measure of the actual energy efficiency of nondomestic buildings. It refers to the amount of energy that is being used.

What will a DEC Show?

If you were to look at a DEC, you would first see the operational rating. This is the rating between A-G which shows how efficiently the building energy is being used. Also displayed on the Display Energy Certificate are the previous energy ratings, together with technical information about how the building energy is being used. You will also see that the DEC contains information about how many tons of CO2 emissions are produced by the building in a year thanks to the energy auditing report.

A DEC must be created along with an Advisory Report which includes energy related recommendations for improved energy management as well as the energy performance of the building.

How is a DEC calculated?

Put simply, a DEC certificate is an impact assessment calculated using the actual energy consumption of a public building as recorded by the square metres which are present. A qualified energy assessor uses the fuel and energy data that is supplied by the owner of the building to calculate the DEC certificate. Adjustments are made for energy related factors such as:

How and when the building is occupied.
How much the building is used.
Weather and climate.

The amount of CO2 emissions created by the public building are also calculated. Using the approved methods, the Display Energy Certificate is produced by the energy assessor. An Advisory Report is also produced, containing suggestions for potential improvements based on energy ratings. This Advisory Report is valid for seven years and does not need to be on display.

Who requires a DEC?

A DEC certificate is a legal requirement. Any building needs to comply with Display Energy Certificate requirements if:

A public authority occupies at least part of the building.
The total useful floor space is more than 250 square metres.
The public visit the building on a regular basis.

It’s important to note that in Scotland public buildings require an EPC and not a DEC. Nondomestic buildings in Scotland that exceed 1000 square metres of total useful floor and have previously required a Section 63, along with an EPC, need a DEC annually in order to defer implementing the Action plan in accordance with 2016 government legislation.


Failure to do this automatically requires you to implement the Action Plan.

It’s also important to note that private organisations do not require a DEC for their buildings. They may still require an EPC if their buildings are being rented or sold as part of the energy savings opportunity scheme.

  • Public Sector Buildings
  • Commercial Section 63
  • Avoid Large Fines

How long will a DEC last?

If a building is less than 1,000 square metres in area, a DEC is valid for 10 years. If the area of the building is more than this then a DEC is valid for 1 year. As previously mentioned, the Advisory Report is valid for seven years.

What will happen if I do not have a DEC to display?

It’s compulsory to display energy certificates in public buildings and private organisations that meets the criteria for needing a DEC. If an energy certificate is not displayed organisations can be fined £500. They can also be fined if they do not have a valid Advisory Report. This fine can be £1,000 within the United Kingdom.

Where do I display the certificate?

It’s important that public authorities know how to display an energy performance certificate. This is because the public need to know where to find the display energy certificate when they are looking for it. The energy certificate should be displayed in a place that is clearly visible to the public. This will normally be close to the entrance of the building.

The United Kingdom Government stipulates that the DEC needs to be displayed in a prominent place and visually accessible to all. Organisations failing to do this face a fine of £1,500 or more.

It’s important that any owner of a building knows how important it is to comply with DEC rules. It’s also important that members of the public know where to look for the DEC for a public building so that they can see how energy efficient it is.

Why EPC For You?

EPC For You is an approved energy assessor and will provide you with a first-class qualified energy impact assessment. We take all features of the energy network into consideration when assessing its energy efficiency including; heating systems, air conditioning units, and lighting systems. We will inspect your property and collect all data necessary to generate your property’s unique DEC energy ratings using software approved by the local government, and return it to you as soon as possible. Get in touch with us today to book your assessment and improve your energy management.

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