Display Energy Certificates

We are here to help managers, owners and occupiers of buildings occupied by a public authority understand their obligations for Display Energy Certificates. We can help you understand how the regulations work in practice, what your responsibilities are and when display energy certificates (DECs) and Advisory reports are required. We can provide the Display Energy Certificates for your building(s).

What is a Display Energy Certificate(DEC)?

DECs were introduced to raise public awareness of energy use and to inform visitors to public buildings about the energy use of a building. DECs provide an energy rating of the building from A to G, where A is very efficient and G is the least efficient and are based on the actual amount of metered energy used by the building over the last 12 months within the validity period of the DEC.

The DEC must be displayed in a prominent place clearly visible to the public at a minimum A3 size. The Advisory Report doesn’t need to be displayed but must be kept safely and in date. This contains recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building, and as a result reducing costs of energy. If you look at our Quick Guide here this should give you some idea of cheap and simple things you can do. The Recommendations are a guide only, and it’s NOT a legal requirement to do them at this time.

When does my building need one?

From 9 July 2015, buildings larger than 250m², occupied by a public authority and which are frequently visited by the public, need a DEC and Advisory Report. For Buildings over 1000sq.m, the DEC is only valid for 12 months, but the accompanying Advisory Report is valid for 7 years. However both DECs and Advisory Reports for buildings between 250sq.m and 999sq.m are valid for 10 years.

Examples of buildings which would require a DEC are: NHS Doctors Surgeries, Police Stations, Schools, Hospitals, Universities, Community organisations, Parish Council buildings, Local government offices etc

Private organisations, including those that may share a building with a relevant institution, do not need to display a DEC, but can do so on a voluntary basis. They may be useful for your Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme data if you are a business which needs to comply with this bit of Legislation.

Who can do my Display Energy Certificate?

Only an accredited assessor can provide a DEC, and they must use the Govt. approved software for the DEC to be valid and it must be lodged on the Central Database to be valid. We are fully accredited to be able to provide DECs for you, and can provide our accreditation scheme numbers if you require.

What will I need to provide to the Assessor?

For the first DEC to be completed by an assessor, the occupier, in collaboration with the energy assessor, will need to obtain actual meter readings or consignment notes for all fuels used This may include gas fuels, oil fuels, solid fuels, district heating and cooling, grid electricity and electricity generated on site or obtained by private distribution systems from other sites. The calculation of the operational rating is based on annual energy consumption, which means the energy consumed over the period of one calendar year (365 days). Ideally all energies are metered over the same one-year period

Also the energy assessor will need to measure the property in order to work out the total useful floor area. If you have scale plans of the buildings this is always a help.

In future years, if there are no changes other than amounts for electric and gas etc used, then the assessor will ask the occupier to sign a Statement of ‘No Change’. The assessor won’t need to visit the site again, but will need the last 12 months fuel data. This makes the renewal DEC cheaper.

What happens if I don’t have a valid DEC and Advisory Report and I should have one?

A local authority can issue a penalty charge notice of £500 for failing to display a DEC at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public, and £1,000 for failing to possess or have in their control a valid advisory report. In addition to these penalties, it will still be necessary to commission the documents, otherwise further offences will be committed.

Saving energy in your building

You can save up to 20 per cent on your energy bills by managing energy successfully (source: Carbon Trust). The simple steps recommended by the Carbon Trust include:

Heating and Hot Water

  • Are thermostats working and set at the lowest comfortable temperature?
  • Are there any cold draughts from windows or doors?
  • Are windows and doors open when heating or air conditioning is on?
  • Are hot water taps dripping?
  • Do you have flow diffusers fitted to taps and showers to reduce hot water use
  • Are hot water heaters on a timer?


  • Are you still using traditional tungsten light bulbs?
  • Are lamps, fittings and roof lights clean?
  • Are lights switched off if there’s sufficient daylight or rooms are not in use?
  • Do you have any old large diameter fluorescent tube lights?

In the office

  • Are computers left on overnight?
  • Are monitors switched off when not in use, such as during lunch breaks?

In the factory

  • Are pumps, fans or compressed air switched off when the equipment they serve is not in use?
  • Can you hear compressed air leaks?
Metering and monitoring are at the heart of energy management. Gain actual figures from meters, rather than relying on estimated bills. Look for trends to find out how your energy is being used.

Cut down. Turning off lights and equipment can save around 15 per cent of energy costs. Reducing the temperature by just 1ºC can save eight per cent.

Maintain well. Maximise energy efficiency by regularly servicing plant and equipment.

Stay snug. Heating uses half your office’s energy; draught proofing and pipe insulation can reduce heat loss significantly.