Display Energy Certificates (DECs) are mandatory for all public buildings and are often seen as just another tiresome piece of legislation. This is understandable given the lack of time and resources most organisations have for energy admin. But DECs can be an invaluable source of hidden opportunities for growth and savings.
What are Display Energy Certificates?
A DEC shows the energy performance of a building based on the operational rating. This is a measure of the building’s actual annual carbon dioxide emissions based on its energy consumption, compared to the typical amount for that type of building.
The operational rating is shown on a scale from A to G, where A is the lowest CO2 emissions (best) and G is the highest CO2 emissions (worst).
DECs were introduced to provide transparency and raise public awareness of energy use. At one time they were seen by many as just another box to tick, but an organisation can no longer overlook its carbon footprint. Legislation included under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) such as DECs, TM44 (air conditioning inspections) and EPC, may seem trivial. However, they could help pave the UK’s path to net zero.
Beyond that, DECs can introduce a multitude of opportunities that, if taken advantage of, can help an organisation save, grow and flourish. Here are some of the direct benefits a DEC can provide for organisations.
1. Improve energy efficiency
A DEC serves as a litmus test for the current energy efficiency of a building. This is one of the most obvious benefits, but if not acted upon has little to no value.
When our experienced, accredited energy assessors take care of your DEC process, we do a comprehensive scan of your utility usage. We go beyond compliance, identifying opportunities and providing guidance on energy conservation and resource efficiency.
Pinpointing areas of inefficiency and waste is the first step on your sustainable journey. The next and most important step is using that data to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your carbon emissions. If you have a DEC but aren’t working to improve your operational rating, you are doing your organisation (and the planet) a disservice.
2. Save money
It is becoming widely recognised that a wasteful life isn’t a sustainable one, and a wasteful business plan isn’t a profitable one. Since energy is one of an organisation’s largest costs, efficiency is key in building a resilient financial foundation.
Simply put, energy conserved is money saved. DEC’s put your organisation’s energy usage front and centre, allowing you to make the changes that will save your organisation the most money. While this isn’t the aim of carbon legislation, it can be a valuable incentive to comply.
This will be an especially valuable benefit for local authorities, most of whom need to display DECs anyway. By working to improve their DEC rating, organisations can uncover financial savings that can be used elsewhere. After the turbulent year schools have had, any opportunities for future financial stability can’t be overlooked.
3. Simplify future carbon compliance
DECs and other EPBD legislation can help an organisation prepare for future carbon compliance legislation. This will be more beneficial as the UK transitions to a net zero economy and carbon reporting becomes mandatory for a wider scope of businesses. Energy audits and carbon footprinting will soon be commonplace. Transparency will be key for future growth.
4. Boost your organisation’s green credentials
DECs openly communicate your commitment to the general public due to the requirement to display them prominently. This will be a growing commodity as consumers become more aware of the effect their spending habits have on the environment. But consumers aren’t the only ones with changing standards and expectations.
Public and private funding is already seeing a shift towards organisations that demonstrate their dedication to fighting climate change. More than that, a business that isn’t employing energy efficient methods is increasingly seen as a risk to investors. Not only does it show a lack of foresight, but it shows a lack of adaptability that won’t fare well in a net zero economy. An organisation that is transparent, progressive and sustainable has far more potential for future growth.
For schools and colleges, this is a principal benefit. Environmental education is becoming increasingly important as climate action becomes more mainstream. Future funding for schools and colleges will rely upon their sustainability as well as their environmental reputations. Many schools are embracing this trend with green initiatives that are inspirational and educational for their students.
5. A pathway to net zero
The UK’s pledge to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require a communal effort across various sectors. Every business, however small, will play a part. Those that don’t join this green movement will eventually be left behind.
Complying with carbon legislation will be essential to the future of your organisation, granted you make the most of it. This means adopting a sustainable strategy with cleaner, more efficient energy solutions. At ESS we help guide our clients in creating this strategy with data analysis, smart utility solutions and market insight.
Getting ahead of the curve will be especially paramount for schools and colleges as they navigate a green recovery in a post-Covid economy. That is why we wrote our ‘Energy outlook for schools 2021/22’ report. It aims to help prepare schools by looking at what is in store for energy sustainability in the education sector.
How ESS can help
At ESS, we provide a free, no obligation DEC inspection service.
Our experienced, accredited energy assessors take care of your DEC process from start to finish. We begin with an initial site visit then analyse and validate your utility invoices for the last 12-month period. We use this information to generate a fully compliant DEC and AR for your organisation. The process allows us to work on your company’s energy efficiency together. With the help of our smart monitoring service, you can continue to track your energy consumption. Enabling you to set achievable energy efficiency objectives to improve your DEC rating.
At ESS we help your organisation to navigate the rapidly changing energy landscape. Our aim is to simplify your energy management and admin, giving you more time and less stress.
Get in touch today if you would like to start your sustainable journey with us.