Compliance firm continues its series of firsts

Compliance firm, Stroma Technology, has become the first company to submit a Display Energy Certificate (DEC) for a public building.

The certificate, for Kirklees Council’s Civic Centre Three in West Yorkshire, follows a month in which Stroma also became the first company to issue an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for a non-domestic building.

Rob Coxon, Stroma Technologies md said: “The fact that we could lodge the assessment and issue the EPC and DEC through Stroma Accreditation demonstrates a clear route for local authorities to take to comply with the new EPBD (Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) requirements.”

Civic Centre Three was built in 1976 but has seen a number of upgrades in recent years, including improved levels of insulation, installation of a high efficiency boiler, photovoltaic solar panels and two wind turbines.

Kirklees Council Energy Manager Tony Balaam said: “We chose Civic Centre Three because we have invested in improving its energy efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint in recent years, so we expected really good results. The building has a good level of insulation and has renewable energy systems installed on its roof. We are proud of being the first council in the UK to gain a DEC, which is testament to the importance we place on creating sustainable public buildings.”

DECs show the actual energy usage of a public building as an ‘Operational Rating’. The initial DEC is accompanied by an Advisory Report that lists cost effective measures to improve the energy rating of the building. It provides the public with information on the building’s energy efficiency, based on actual energy consumption, as recorded by gas and electricity meters. DECs are currently only required for buildings that are occupied by a public authority or an institution providing a public service to a large number of persons, with a total useful area greater than 1000m². They are valid for one year whilst the Advisory Report remains valid for seven years.

By October 2008, an estimated 43000 public buildings will need to have a DEC on display. The penalty for failing to display a DEC “at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public” is £500; and £1,000 for failing to have possession of a valid Advisory Report. A maximum fine of £5,000 may be imposed depending on the nature of the breach of regulations.

All EPCs and DECs have to be produced by Licensed Assessors registered to an Approved Accreditation Scheme, such as that offered by Stroma Accreditation.