DEC Assessors excluded from proposed performance-based framework

Elmhurst are very pleased that BEIS are looking at implementing mandatory performance based assessments for non-domestic buildings over 1000m2. We believe an assessment of the in-use energy consumption is crucial in understanding the energy efficiency of our buildings - if we can measure it, we can manage it.  

We are currently writing our draft response to the ‘Introducing a Performance-Based Policy Framework in large Commercial and Industrial Buildings’ consultation. Elmhurst are disappointed to see that the NABERS framework appears to be the preferred methodology, in preference to an enhanced DEC process. The Display Energy Certificate is a government approved methodology, present and established within England and Wales since 2008. The DEC produces an operational rating, based on key primary inputs like; floor area, fuel consumption, location, and occupancy hours, along with an outdated benchmark system. The new performance based framework consists of these exact inputs to produce a NABERS style star rating. However, both methodologies represent the same thing – an in-use energy assessment. So why has the DEC not been used to help develop the new framework?

We urge the government to invest in their existing methodology which is regulated, quality assured and supported via established schemes (who compete on both quality of service and price), and delivered through expert DEC Assessors.

The existing DEC methodology should be modernised and suitably improved to incorporate the needs mentioned throughout the consultation, in order to achieve the government’s carbon budgets and acknowledge the role of DEC Assessors through the new framework. We must establish that creating a brand new system would be a waste of resources and a missed opportunity when we already have a widely recognised workforce and a methodology that produces the same results using the same inputs. Government also have a brand new Energy Performance of Buildings Register which is where all DECs are centrally lodged, so a complete end to end process already exists.

Elmhurst are insisting that:

  • We build upon the existing infrastructure to remain inclusive and efficient.
  • The DEC methodology is modernised and improved to meet the needs of the new framework with updated benchmarks.
  • Create a smarter and more engaging output document.
  • The ratings and relevant documentation are lodged to the EPBR Register.
  • Use past DEC data from the Register to assist the process of updating sector benchmarks.
  • Use the income from lodging to the Register to reinvest in to the analysis of data, creating tools like league table’s.
  • Reinforce a competitive market for all schemes, increasing opportunities for our energy assessor workforce NOT restricted to just one administrator.
  • Extend the remit of DEC Assessors to undertake assessments on all non-domestic buildings NOT just public buildings.

“There is a simple opportunity to collate information that can already be captured through the existing DEC methodology, to use it to add value to DECs, and to extend its suitability for a wide range of buildings. We may need to change the tyres but we do not need to reinvent the wheel” Ian Sturt – Vice Chair at DCHI 

Elmhurst will publish its draft response as soon as it is available and ask Members to either respond in their own right, or feedback on comments that you would like Elmhurst to include. To read both parts of the consultation and have your say, please follow the link below.

Introducing a Performance-Based Policy Framework in large Commercial and Industrial Buildings

Article Published: 20/05/21

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