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In a consultation published late last week, the Government revealed plans to scrap Display Energy Certificates (DECs) for a host of public premises in the UK.

At present, it is a legal requirement for all public buildings over 1,000m² to display a certificate displaying their actual energy use; but proposals contained within the latest consultation suggests schools, swimming pools, and town halls may now become exempt from the ruling.

The UK-GBC has hit out at the proposed changes, intimating the Government is overlooking the considerable benefits of the system.

John Alker, acting chief executive, UK-GBC, said: “Any suggestion of scrapping DECs for public buildings simply beggars belief.

“Government time and again trots out the mantra of not ‘gold-plating’ EU requirements to minimise administrative costs, but completely misses the potential benefits that going further offers.

“There are clear examples – including the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s own headquarters – where DECs have helped public bodies to reduce their energy use and slash bills by an amount that hugely outweighs the administrative costs.

“Rather than rowing back on DECs, Government needs to ensure they are better enforced, with a view to extending them beyond public buildings.”

The government’s decision to scrap DECs seems to fly in the face of its recent decision to make residential and non-domestic properties with Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of Bands F and G illegal for renting from April 2018.

The UK-GBC welcomed this move, labelling it ‘the most significant piece of legislation in a generation’, but it’s possible the Government may just have taken one step forward and two steps back with this latest move.

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