Over half of new schools obliged to report their energy performance via an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) are falling into the lower bands for asset efficiency.

As reported by BSRIA, in response to a parliamentary question tabled by shadow climate change minister Gregory Barker, the schools minister Jim Knight revealed that 28 secondary schools and 64 primary schools had EPCs at the end of 2008. Of those 92 schools only 43 have performed in bands A-C (see table).

From October 2008 all public buildings with a floor area greater than 1000m2 are required to have an annual Display Energy Certificate (DEC) showing their energy performance. This obliges new schools built under Building Schools for the Future programme to have an EPC. This has to be followed by a DEC once 12 months energy data is available.

The certificate has to be publicly visible. Existing schools which are refurbished will also need to publicise their DEC ratings. School buildings will require an Advisory Report providing recommendations for energy improvements each seven years.

In January, Jim Knight promised that efficiency band percentage splits for DECs will be made available "in the next two weeks". However, at the time of writing the data were not available.

Both DECs and EPCs are recorded on a national register available at www.ndepcregister.com. An EPC or DEC certificate can only be retrieved if the unique Report Retrieval Number (RRN) is known. The database cannot be accessed by building name.

"Individual school energy data are kept confidential, and Communities and Local Government only receive aggregated data from the register," explained Jim Knight.

"There are no plans to publish individual school energy data although many local authorities and schools hold these data themselves," adding: "We do not keep records of whether schools have incurred penalties for non-compliance."