Display Energy Certificates

Advice on Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports

A Display Energy Certificate (DEC) is a legal requirement for all public buildings with a usable floor space over 250m2.  Most schools fall into this category. 

About Display Energy Certificates

The DEC is issued following a professional assessment and shows the energy performance of the building using an A-G rating system.  The certificate must be displayed in a public place. 

The DEC is accompanied by an Advisory Report which includes recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building. This may include zero and low cost operational and management improvements, possible upgrades to the building fabric or services, and opportunities for the installation of low and zero carbon technologies. The Advisory Report is also a legal requirement.

You can download copies of your DEC and Advisory Report from the Display Energy Certificate Register available on the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government website.

DECs and Advisory Reports need to be renewed regularly.  You can find the date of issue on your DEC or Advisory Report (circled on the example below). 

How often you need to renew your DEC and Advisory Report depends on the building size:

Building floor space Renewal frequency
Over 1000m2 DEC lasts for just 12 months and must be renewed every year
The Advisory Report must be renewed every seven years (unless produced after January 2013 when they are valid for 10 years)
Between 250m2 and 999m2 DEC and Advisory Report last for 10 years

DECs are also a great way to monitor improvements in a school’s energy efficiency, with ratings coming down as energy saving measures are introduced.

How to get or renew a DEC or Advisory Report

There are a number of local providers offering this service, some are listed on the Non-Domestic Energy Performance Certificate Register.   Alternatively you could use a framework agreement, for example DECs are available through the Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) Framework agreement.

Prices do vary so it is worth doing obtaining a few quotes as the price will depend on the size of the floor area being assessed.


The building occupier is responsible for ensuring they have a valid DEC and Advisory Report.  Non-compliance could result in a £500 fine for DECs and a £1,000 fine for not having a valid Advisory Report.

Further information

The full guide to Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/display-energy-certificates-and-advisory-reports-for-public-buildings