The government requirement for all public buildings to carry display energy certificates (DECs) from 1 October in an effort to cut energy use and carbon emissions has been welcomed. But the scheme does not require building owners to submit the data to a national database, or even to make it public beyond their own walls.

Not only does this reduce DECs’ naming and shaming role, it also makes it harder for built environment professionals to make comparisons across building types.

A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government blamed the situation on data protection rules. He said: ‘DECs are primarily designed for the people using the buildings. They’re about telling the wider world how you’re using your buildings – but only those who actually come through the door!’

So it’s down to citizen journalists to draw up the league tables of the best and worst performers. If you spot one – with an A ranking for the best performers down to G for the duds – email us or send a text to 07844 423205.