The government is facing criticism after proposing to scrap Display Energy Certificates (DECs), the energy ratings for public buildings, with the UK Green Building Council labelling it “simply beggars belief”.
Since 2008, all public buildings over 1,000 meters squared have been required to have a DEC that shows the energy performance of the building based on its annual energy consumptions and the resulting CO2 emissions. The government has previously announced it would extend DECs to all commercial buildings in 2011 but did a U-turn.
However, in a consultation the Department of Communities and Local Government has now said it was considering removing the legal requirement for DECs in 54,000 public buildings, such as town halls, swimming pools and schools.
The government acknowledges that reducing the frequency or reach of DECs could potentially make it more difficult to manage energy performance.
John Alker, acting chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, commented, ”Any suggesting of scrapping DECs for public buildings is 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.”
He continued that there are clear examples where DECs have helped public bodies reduce their energy use and slash bills by an amount that “hugely outweighs the administrative costs”. The UK Green Building Council argues that rather than rowing back DECs, the governments should ensure they are being enforced and consider extending them beyond public buildings.
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