Display Energy Certificates have been introduced in Scotland as part of a larger scheme of change brought about by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Qualifying commercial properties being brought to the market for sale or lease are now required to undergo Section 63 Action Plan assessment.
Where an Action Plan has been prepared, and property owners desire to delay implementation of recommended improvement measures, it is possible to set aside the Action Plan and opt instead for annual assessment of the Operational Rating of the building. The Operational Rating is recorded and published in a document known as a Display Energy Certificate.
A Display Energy Certificate is a document produced by a qualified and accredited DEC Assessor following inspection of a building and detailed analysis of actual and verifiable energy use over a 12 month period. Suitable evidence of energy consumption must be available for all fuel types that are used within the building. The assessment takes account of the type of building, the use of the building, hours of occupation, patterns of use and a number of other factors.
The assessment has two output documents, a Display Energy Certificate and an Advisory Report. The DEC produced by the assessment details the actual performance of the building and makes comparison to a benchmark property. The Advisory Report details recommended measures to improve the building fabric, the services and the manner in which the building is used that will result in better operational performance. DHKK’s assessors are fully qualified and accredited to provide this service.
In every instance qualifying buildings must first be subject to Section 63 assessment and the production of an Action Plan. When the Action Plan is in draft form the responsible person may elect to defer adoption of the Action Plan and instead choose to provide a Display Energy Certificate. The Action Plan is lodged in the public register detailing the decision to provide an operational rating for the building.
The responsible person is then committed to obtain and publish a DEC within 28 days of the Action Plan lodgement. Marketing activities may not commence until the DEC has been prepared and lodged on the public register. NB electing to take the DEC route to compliance is only valid if the process is selected and completed within 12 months of the first Action Plan being produced.
With buildings that qualify for Section 63 assessment the Display Energy Certificate will be valid for 12 months. The DEC may thereafter be renewed on a year-by-year basis through updated analysis of energy use and re-inspection of the building may not be required if there has been no material change. The Advisory Report for qualifying buildings is valid for a period of 7 years. It is possible to obtain a DEC on a voluntary basis for non-qualifying buildings. In such circumstances the DEC and the Advisory Report will last for 10 years.
NB For continued use of occupational assessment (provision of a DEC) it is imperative that there is no break in Display Energy Certificate availability and the legal responsibility for compliance will fall to the building owner or nominated person. Failure to arrange timely renewal of a DEC will default the property owner to liability for full implementation of the measures reported on the original Action Plan and for the works to be completed by the end of the original 3.5 year period.