Display Energy Certificates (DECs)
Background to the legislation
Buildings account for around 40% of EU energy requirements and as such have been the focus of several initiatives. The 2002 Directive on the energy performance of buildings requires member states to ensure that new buildings, as well as large existing buildings and those undergoing refurbishment, meet certain minimum energy requirements. It also requires that certain buildings should undergo energy certification.
From 1st October 2008, a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and Advisory Report are required for buildings with a total useful floor area over 1,000m 2 that are occupied in whole or part by public authorities and by institutions providing public services to a large number of persons and therefore frequently visited by those persons. This deadline was extended until January 2009 in order to accommodate the large volume of assessments required in the UK.
What is a DEC?
A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) shows the energy performance of a building based on actual energy consumption as recorded annually over periods up to the last three years (the Operational Rating). The Operational Rating (OR) is a numerical indicator of the actual annual carbon dioxide emissions from the building.
A DEC is valid for one year and must be updated annually. The Certificate will be displayed so that is clearly visible to members of the public. The advisory report, which accompanies the DEC, is valid for 7 years and contains a range of possible improvements, including cost-effective measures that may be implemented to improve the energy performance of the property. It is not necessary for the University to display the advisory report; however these are available on the Estates website and the government’s website http://www.ndepcregister.com landmark Information Group ltd.
This rating is shown on a scale from A to G, where A is the lowest CO2 emissions (best) and G is the highest CO2 emissions (worst). Also shown are the Operational Ratings for the previous years; this provides information on whether the energy performance of the building is improving.
The Operational Rating for these buildings is the rating which shows the energy performance of the building as it is being used by the occupants. A building with performance equal to one typical of its type would therefore have an Operational Rating of 100. A building that resulted in zero CO2 emissions would have an Operational Rating of zero, and a building that resulted in twice the typical CO2 emissions would have an Operational Rating of 200.
The rating will indicate when the building is being operated below average performance for a building of this type. Therefore we, as the occupants of these buildings, are the fundamental reason for the use of energy within our buildings.
To date 35 buildings have been assessed across the University and of those buildings the average result is a B/C with 29% of buildings surveyed to date have received a D to G rating with less than 5% scoring A.
Saving energy in our buildings
We can save up to 20 per cent on our energy bills by managing energy successfully (Source: Carbon Trust).
What you can do
The simple steps recommended by the Carbon Trust include:
- Are thermostats working and set at the lowest comfortable temperature?
- Are lamps, fittings and rooflights clean?
- Are lights switched off if there’s sufficient daylight or rooms are not in use?
In the office
- Are computers left on overnight?
- Are monitors switched off when not in use, such as during lunch breaks?
- Turning off lights and equipment can save around 15 per cent of energy costs. Reducing the temperature by just 1ºC can save 8 per cent.
The University of York Energy Strategy
The future of energy is that the University is committed to the long term goals and development of low and zero carbon technologies.