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What’s a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) and am I complying with the latest legislation?


Display Energy Certificates

The rules changed in July 2015 – what does this mean for you?

For many years, any building that exceeds 500m2 which is frequently visited by the public has required a DEC is required for. As of 9th July 2015 DECs are required where the total useful floor area of the building exceeds 250m2 which ‘is occupied in whole or part by public authorities and frequently visited by the public’.


Do these regulations apply to GP & Dental surgeries?

Yes. As GP & dental practices are in receipt of public funds and provide a public service to large numbers of people who visit regularly, GP & dental premises are included in the definition of a public building.


Who is responsible for arranging the DEC?

It is for the occupier of the building, rather than the owner to arrange the DEC (the use of the building will usually be dictated by the occupier so it would make sense for them to arrange same if the above criteria is applicable to them).

However, the position might be different if an NHS landlord such a NHS Property Services or Community Health Partnership owns the building, rather than a private landlord, in which case they will probably be responsible for obtaining and paying for the DEC.


Is guidance available?

Yes. Please refer the Department for Communities and Local Government guidance: A guide to display energy certificates and advisory reports for public buildings over 250m2. July_2015 .

The guidance does also state that where there is doubt over whether a DEC is needed, it is good practice to obtain one. The DEC is purely based on the overall output of a building and not each single piece of equipment.

The following provides an overview of the validity periods for a DEC:

The following provides an overview of the validity periods for a DEC:

Floor Area (m2) Validity of DEC Validity of advisory report
>1000 1 year 7 years
501-100 10 years 10 years
>250-500 10 years 10 years

The assessment must be undertaken by an accredited energy assessor using the methodology approved by the Secretary of State.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) Legislation is applicable in England & Wales (EPBD). There have been many changes within the legislation over the past five years which may not of been updated within business publications and guidance notes to reflect the changes since the legislation was first introduced, especially on the Internet.

It can feel daunting, particularly with changing policies, but dont be put off by these rules and regulation changes as Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd operating in London and Northamptonshire have simplified and summarised the latest changes that came into effect at the beginning of 2013, are as follows:

What are the legislative requirements?

A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) (not to be confused with a commercial energy performance certificate) and an Advisory Report are required for all buildings occupied by either a public authority, which includes Central or Local Government departments and some non-departmental public bodies.

It is also required for an institution providing a public service that are traditionally provided by Central or Local Government, or are traditionally funded by the taxpayer in England and Wales, with a total floor area (gross internal floor area) exceeding 500m squared.

An affected organisation must display a DEC in a prominent place clearly visible to the public (i.e. main entrance to the property or main reception area as an example). The DEC should be no smaller than A3 in size.

The building must also have in its possession or control a valid advisory report (i.e. at the main reception desk). The advisory report contains recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building. This must be done for each of the buildings affected.


Why act now?


Public sector organisations with the total floor area exceeding 500m2 are required to display a valid Display Energy Certificate (DEC). The Regulations state if an eligible public sector building fails to display a valid DEC and Advisory Report, the organisation will be liable for a Penalty Charge Notice (fine) of up to £1,700 which could be repeated at the discretion of Trading Standards enforcement officer on a daily, monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

The fines are based on the following non-compliance issues under the legislation:


  • Failure to display a valid DEC in a prominent place clearly visible to the public £500 per offence.


  • Failure to have in possession or control a valid advisory report £1,000 per offence.


  • The penalty for failing to produce the relevant documentation to an authorised enforcement officer when required is £200. In addition to these penalties, it will still be necessary to commission the documents; otherwise further offences will be committed. The DECs must be lodged on the Government database and Trading Standards can check remotely whether a building has a DEC or advisory report in place, this enables the Enforcement Officer to check whether a public building is compliant with the legislation.

display energy certificate penalty in London

Validity period of DECs

All public sector buildings with a total useful floor area of 1,000m squared, or more must renew their DEC by an accredited assessor annually, the advisory report must be renewed every 7 years. Where the building has a total useful floor area of between 500m squared and 1,000m squared, the DEC and advisory report are valid for 10 years.


Which Public Buildings require a Display Energy Certificate?

A DEC certificate and advisory report are required for buildings that are occupied in whole or partly occupied by public authorities and by institutions providing public services and frequently visited by the public.


Public Authority buildings requiring a Display Energy Certificates: –

Display Energy Certificates for Central and Local Government

Display Energy Certificates for Civic Theatres (Provided by Local Authority)

Display Energy Certificates for County, City & District Borough Councils

• Display Energy Certificates for Community Halls

• Display Energy Certificates for Courts

• Display Energy Certificates for Day Care Centres

• Display Energy Certificates for Doctor Surgery

• Display Energy Certificates for Fire Stations

• Display Energy Certificates for Leisure centres (Provided by Local Authority)

• Display Energy Certificates for Local  Authority Buildings

• Display Energy Certificates for Ministry of Defence (MOD)

• Display Energy Certificates for Ministry  of Transport

• Display Energy Certificates for Municipal golf clubhouses

• Display Energy Certificates for Museums & Art Galleries provided by Public Authorities

• Display Energy Certificates for NHS Dentists

• Display Energy Certificates for NHS Hospitals

• Display Energy Certificates for NHS Trusts

• Display Energy Certificates for Nurseries

• Display Energy Certificates for Nursing Homes

• Display Energy Certificates for Police Stations

• Display Energy Certificates for Prisons

• Display Energy Certificates for Public libraries

• Display Energy Certificates for Schools, Colleges, Academies, Universities

• Display Energy Certificates for Statutory Regulatory Bodies

• Display Energy Certificates for Swimming Pools, GYMs (Provided by Local Authority)

• Display Energy Certificates for Theatres, Community Halls (Provided by Local Authority)


If you are unclear on whether your building / portfolio requires a Display Energy Certificate please do contact us.


What is a Display Energy Certificate?

A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) illustrates the results within a graphical scale from A to G, where A has the lowest CO2 emissions (best) and G is the highest CO2 emissions (worst) and calculated on the actual amount of metered energy used by the building over the last 12 months. The DEC is also accompanied by an energy efficiency recommendation report called the Advisory report.

The DEC is very useful for benchmarking purposes as you can visually compare the pervious three years energy consumption from the DEC. Some of our Clients use the DECs for identifying Energy Conversation Opportunities within their property portfolios / estates. This enables them to identify which properties they can priorities on implementing energy efficiency measures and calculate the most cost effective solutions for reducing energy consumption.

display energy certificate example for a London property

Our Assessors at Low carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd

We are experienced and accredited energy assessors with extensive Public Sector and school experience, ideally placed to deliver display energy certificates for Schools, Colleges, Universities, Health and Fitness Centres, Surgeries, Hospitals, Local Authority Buildings, Museums, Offices and Public Swimming Pools.


LCEA Ltd passes 100% of our DEC Audits and have a team of specialist Accredited Energy Assessors who can assist you with your property or building portfolios. We also have Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) cleared assessors.


We offer accredited energy assessors from the Royal Institution of CharteredSurveyors (RICS), Building Research Establishment (BRE), The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), Sterling Accreditation & Stroma.


We are able to provide the Display Energy Certificate and also give bespoke advice to assist you in cutting energy costs and carbon emissions in your buildings. We only allow the highest calibre assessors to work with Low Carbon Energy Assessors (LCEA) Ltd.


Should you have any queries regarding Display Energy Certificates please do contact Robert Corbyn MRICS Director from Low Carbon Energy Assessors Limited on his Mobile +44 (0)780 441 4170

This publication is the copy right of Low Carbon Energy Assessors ( LCEA) Ltd and is not a statementof the law, but is intended to help building / energy & sustainability managers, owners and occupiers of buildings occupied by a public authority that are larger than 500m2 squared and frequently visited by the public understand how the regulations work in practice, how to apply the regulations, what their responsibilities are and when display energy certificates (DECs) and advisory reports are required.

Request a Display Energy Certificate Quote

To request a Display ENergy Certificate quotation please complete the form below and we shall respond to you as soon as possible. If you have layout drawings and elevations available please send them to For multi-sites/buildings please also email your building details to the above e-mail address.

The following questions are designed to gather useful information that will enable our Energy Assessors to:


  • decide whether the property needs a DEC and if it does, what level of energy assessor is required
  • provide you with a competitive quotation for the work required.


Related downloads

The UK Government’s guide on Display Energy Certificates for the Public Authority Building’s (includes Schools, Hospitals, Public Swimming Pools etc) describes the scope and requirements of the regulations applying to buildings occupied by a public authority and provides guidance on how these are applied.

 Government’s Guide to Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports for Public Buildings


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