DECs rollout: Not red tape but common sense

By Chris Witte.

Industry should commend the Government on their stand against the amount of bureaucracy with which businesses are forced to comply. However, there are times when we all need to be nudged in the right direction, and the roll out of Display Energy Certificates is the exception to the rule.

The energy used in non domestic buildings is responsible for 17 per cent of the UK’s carbon emissions and represents a heavy financial burden to UK businesses. Efforts to improve energy efficiency in this sector will support both the delivery of our legally binding carbon reduction targets and create a market in low carbon retrofit.

The Government has successfully rolled out Display Energy Certificates ( DECs) to public sector buildings and led by example. The forthcoming Energy Bill is the opportunity to create the necessary enabling legislation to roll out DECs to all commercial buildings.

DECs provide data that is needed to implement energy reduction strategies and assign an energy rating A to G to each building. This public display of a building’s energy efficiency or lack of it, provides a big incentive for businesses to make improvements. There is increasing evidence that this approach is helping those tasked with managing public sector buildings focus on saving energy.

However, DECs are unlikely to be taken up voluntarily, because of the liklihood that many businesses will receive poor ratings. Also, many businesses do not realise how badly their buildings are performing and how much energy they could be saving, which DECs rectify.

DECs are not a burden to business, and the savings far outweigh the implementation costs, so common sense should prevail. Several Government departments ( DECC, BIS, CLG ) are supportive, with only the Chancellor and the Treasury blocking progress. The Green Deal funding for retrofitting buildings will be the carrot, but mandatory DECs will be the real catalyst to stimulating the low-carbon refurbishment market worth billions

Express your support for mandatory DECs for commercial buildings by contacting the Chancellor via email on: private.office@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk

posted by Chris Witte: chris.witte@kingspan.com

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