The Government dropping building energy certificates ‘beggars belief’

The government is now facing criticism after proposing to scrap Display Energy Certificates (DECs). It “simply beggars belief” according to the UK Green Building Council.

DECs are the energy efficiency ratings for public buildings, so we could soon see places like town halls and public libraries dropping their energy certificate ratings.

In 2008, new legislation was introduced that dictates any building over 1,000 meters squared has been required to display its DEC to show the energy performance of the building based on its annual energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

The government previously announced a plan to extend DECs to all commercial buildings in 2011, but has since done a U-turn to instead propose they are dropped entirely.

The Department of Communities and Local Government has said it is considering dropping the legal requirement for public buildings to have a DEC which would affect over 54,000 public spaces, including swimming pools, town halls and schools.

John Alker, acting chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, says that the Government’s position “beggers belief”.

“Any suggesting 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.”

He continued to explain that there are instances where DECs have helped public bodies reduce their energy consumption and CO2 emissions, cutting bills by an amount that “hugely outweighs the administrative cost”.

The UK Green Building Council believes that acting upon their original plan of pushing DECs out to commercial buildings and enforcing current DEC laws will have a far greater impact to savings, energy consumption and CO2 emissions than scrapping them entirely ever will.

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