What Is A DEC ?


A DEC (Display Energy Certificate) is a legal requirement in England, Ireland and Wales. It is a document which advises of the energy efficency of a public building and must be displayed for the public to see.

Who Needs A DEC ?

In England, Wales and Ireland, according to the law, public authorities need to have a Display Energy Certificate for any building which meets all the following criteria

1 - It is occupied by a public authority - partially or fully - such as a college, NHS building, leisure centres, museums or council premises
2 - The total floor area is over 250m2
3 - It is visited frequently by the public -- regardless of the number of people who visit

If your building meets all these criteria, you must get a DEC, and have it publicly displayed
If you have a private building, you may choose to have a DEC, if you wish -- although you might need to have an EPC carried out if you sell or rent out your property.

What does A DEC tell people ?

A DEC will tell you and the public about the actual energy which was consumed by the building and give it an energy rating of between A and G (with A being the most energy efficient). The assessor will look at energy bills for the building and compare them to a benchmark set by building which is similar in type

It gives details of the current year and the past two years' energy consumption, as well as carbon emissions, allowing people to compare how they have performed over the past couple of years.

An advisory report (AR) will also be provided which will give the building owners a general list of reccomendations into how energy saving can be made in the future -- including operational improvements as well as technical improvements.


How long does it last ?

Once you have had your DEC carried out, the length of time that it will be valid for depends on the size of the property.

If the total useful floor area is over 1000m2, the certificate is valid for 1 year, and the AR should be renewed every 7 years.

If the total useful floor area is between 250m2 and 1000m2, both the certificate and AR are valid for 10 years.

Displaying your DEC

It is not good enough to have only had the assessment done, building owners must also display the DEC in a prominent public place, by the law. Many people display it by the front entrance to their building or near to a reception desk. If you cannot find a DEC for a building, contact the occupier.

If you do not display your DEC somewhere that is easy for the public to find and access, you will be liable to a 500 pound fine. You can also be fined 1000 pounds if you don't have a DEC or valid AR.

If you don't have a valid DEC or AR, you will need to organise getting one as soon as possible, and are liable for more penalties until you have one done.