Undertaking Display Energy Certificate assessments efficiently – tips from a DEC assessor

Blog – Thursday, July 13th, 2017
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July 2017 marks two years since buildings requiring a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) included those with a total useful floor area (TUFA) between 250m2 and 999m2. Previously DECs were only required for buildings with a TUFA greater than 1000m2. This is in addition to if the building is being occupied in whole or part owned by a public authority, and if it is visited frequently by the public.

DECs need to be renewed based on the building’s total useful floor area. If your building TUFA is greater than 1000m2 your DEC will need to be renewed every year. However, if your building’s TUFA is between 250m2 and 999m2, you will only need to renew it every 10 years. Failure to display a valid DEC is subject to a fine of £500.

A current Advisory Report is required to accompany a DEC. Buildings with TUFA 250m2-999m2 require one every 10 years and buildings with TUFA 1000m2 or more require one every 7 years.

For more background information, see our Resource Library DEC Made Easy Guide.

Below are some tips on how to make the process as quick and painless as possible as well as gaining the most from your DEC assessment.
To ensure standards in quality and methodology, non-domestic energy assessors accredited to produce Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports are themselves audited by their certification body. Therefore, the quality of information provided to the assessor during the production of a DEC is essential to comply with the standards required. Having the most accurate information available will also ensure you receive a meaningful assessment.

The assessor will need to visit your premises unless they have previously undertaken a DEC of your building or there has not been material change since the previous DEC produced. Site visits are an important aspect of the assessment process as it enables the assessor to have a better understanding of the building operation. It is also a requirement for accreditation schemes.

In preparation for the site visit, provide the assessor:

  • Site plans (showing total useful floor area)
  • Information on the energy sources for the building (e.g. gas, electricity and any other heating fuels). To ensure the data is correct a spreadsheet with consumption data along with sample bills from the utility provider is usually sufficient.
  • Location of the meters
  • Any information that may be relevant to a risk assessment (e.g. asbestos)
  • Opening hours of the building
  • Building uses
  • Previous Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and Recommendation Report (if applicable) or previous DEC and Advisory Report.

Ideally, the property manager or someone who has knowledge of how the building operates should be available to show the assessor around and fill in a questionnaire. This covers:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Building fabric – is there double glazing
  • Lighting
  • Small electrical equipment use
  • Water use

A DEC can be undertaken up to 3 months before the expiration date so by having the required information at hand you can easily ensure you continue to meet your compliance requirements.

The Camden Climate Change Alliance team is accredited to produce Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports at a competitive rate. Members of the Alliance enjoy special discount and deals depending on the type of membership. Contact us today for a quote and remember it is free to become a member of the CCCA.

Gemma George, Principal Consultant, CCCA