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Utilities & Environmental

Do you really require a Display Energy Certificate (DEC)?

By 20th November 2013February 15th, 2022No Comments



Posted by: Nigel Collins

There seems to be some confusion around which premises require a Display Energy Certificate to be displayed. As is often the case, it is often better to first look for the official line on these matters before taking advice from a third party who may be trying to sell their services.

The government official guidance on this can be found at

In summary, to quote from the guidance,

The purpose of introducing DECs is 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.

A DEC and advisory report are required for buildings with a total useful floor area (see definitions at Annex B) over 500m2 that are occupied in whole or part by public authorities and frequently visited by the public.

This of course raises the question, what is the definition of public authorities.

What organisations are included in this definition of public authorities and institutions?

Public authorities and institutions would include, for example:

  • NHS Trusts
  • Healthcare centres (but not private care/nursing homes)
  • Hospitals (but not private hospitals unless NHS patients are admitted as well)
  • Leisure centres (but not private health clubs)
  • Schools and higher education authorities, including universities (but not private schools)
  • Large central post offices
  • Police stations, prisons and courts
  • Public libraries and
  • Museums and Art galleries sponsored by public authorities

Legislation is continually being amended so it’s always worthwhile checking up on the latest guidance. In the case of DECs, this document was published in December 2012 and the changes were effective from January 2013.