Many DECs are due to expire this year – the scheme having come into effect in April 2008 and a validity period of seven years means that 2016 is the year many buildings will need re-assessment. Are your buildings among them, and if so, what do you need to do? Our handy guide below gives answers to the most common questions.
- Do I even need a DEC?
If your building has a total useful floor area greater than 250m2, is occupied by a public authority and is frequently visited by the public then by law you need a Display Energy Certificate and accompanying Advisory Report. If you’re not sure if you qualify, our assessors can help you with this free of charge. The qualifying floor area has reduced over the years – originally the DEC legislation only applied to buildings over 1,000 m2. So you may find that you now need more DECs than previously.
- In previous years we haven’t need to re-do the assessment- why now?
For buildings over 1000 m2, the DEC is valid for 12 months but may be extended without a revisit if a) the same assessor is involved and b) a written statement is provided that nothing has changed in the building. However the accompanying Advisory Report is only valid for seven years and at that point a re-assessment (including a site visit) must be undertaken.
For buildings under 1,000m2 but larger than 250m2 the DEC and Advisory Report are valid for 10 years, and will need to be renewed when they expire.
- Where do I find the date of expiry?
You will find the expiry date in the administrative information section of your DEC. The yellow highlighting on the below example DEC shows where the expiration date is. We advise appointing an assessor in good time before this expiry date so that the building complies fully with the law.
- What are the penalties for not having a valid DEC?
Local Authorities can firstly issue a fine of £500 for failing to display a DEC at all times in a prominent place, and £1,000 for failing to have a valid Advisory Report. If after these fines the situation is not resolved, further offences are committed.
- Do I have to act on the previous Advisory Report or do anything for the new one?
The Advisory Report is just that – advice – and you are not obliged to act on those recommendations. However, a good quality assessment should identify useful and achievable energy saving measures that could shave money off your yearly energy bill.
- Can’t I just do this in-house?
No, there are strict accreditation schemes that maintain a list of qualified assessors who act independently. Any qualified assessor should be able to provide you with their accreditation scheme details and membership number. They will also have access to the approved software for generating DECs.
At Sustain, we have a number of qualified assessors that can take away the pain and stress of compliance by providing you with clear and concise guidance about what is needed for your building. To find out how we can help with your DEC requirements, please visit our webpage or call us on 0117 403 2700