Display Energy Certificates & Building Performance

Key Points

  • Demonstration of Building Performance is a Statutory Requirement for public buildings greater than 250m2 which are opened to the public and frequently visited by the public.
  • Demonstration of Building Performance through its Operational Rating is one of the compliance routes for Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme compliance.
  • Understanding and monitoring Building Performance can support existing energy management strategies.
  • Satisfactory demonstration of planned Building Performance of new buildings is a core requirement of Building Regulations Part L for both residential and commercial properties.


How can actual Building Performance be demonstrated?

Building performance can be demonstrated through the production of Display Energy Certificates or through calculations undertaken which follow the methodology of BS ISO 16346:2013 – Energy performance of buildings – Assessment of overall energy performance.

Display Energy Certificates can be produced for any non-domestic building of any size, but is mandatory for buildings in public ownership, or funded by the public, which are open to and visited by members of the public, and which are more than 250m2 in internal area.

Display Energy Certificates can also be required by other organisations, such as charities to demonstrate to the Charities Commission the building is being well run, and by privately owned buildings as part of a SKArating fit-out certification compliance process.

Calculations of the energy performance of buildings undertaken in accordance with BS ISO 16346:2013 can be undertaken on any building.


Which organisations may require mandatory Display Energy Certificates?  Any building in public ownership, funded by the public, open to the public, and frequently visited by the public.  These can include:

Hospitals, Schools, Universities, Academies, Doctors Surgeries, Public Markets, Town Halls, etc.


Where and how do Display Energy Certificates have to be displayed?  In-date Display Energy Certificates in A3 size are required to be displayed prominently close to or in the area of the main entrance of the building.  In practical terms, this means the reception area.

Additional copies of the Display Energy Certificate in a small (e.g. A4) can be displayed elsewhere in the building.


Does the legislation extend to privately owned commercial buildings?  Not currently in the UK, but the legislation is in place to extend it to the private commercial sector, it always being the intention that all commercial buildings would require a Display Energy Certificate.

Privately owned commercial buildings can be assessed with Display Energy Certificates lodged on a ‘voluntary’ basis the data the Certificate contains helping a building operator manage the building better and reduce energy costs.


Public Disclosure of Energy Performance. 

As of November 2020, the mandatory public disclosure of energy performance is under discussion, and in line with legislation it remains likely the use of Display Energy Certificates will be extended to the private sector.

Any business therefore requiring guidance on how to prepare for disclosure are encouraged to get in touch.


How often are Display Energy certificates required to be updated?  For public buildings if the internal floor are is 1,000m2 or more, annually.  If between 250m2 – 999m2, then every 10 years – but can be updated on a voluntary basis more frequently.

For Privately occupied buildings, as required.


Planned Building Performance

Building Regulations Part L require that at the design stage the carbon emissions of the building to be constructed should not exceed the target carbon emissions of the same building based on the proposed installed systems and services.  The Target Emissions Rate for a proposed building as approved as part of the planning consent, is then compared to the actual carbon emissions of the building on completion.

Providing the actual carbon emissions of the building on completion do not exceed the planning stage target carbon emissions, the building will then pass Building Control Requirements.

However for developments in the Greater London Area, more stringent conditions have to be met.

In London, the actual carbon emissions from a new residential or commercial development has to be 40% better than the carbon emission requirements than required by 2010 Building Regulations, rising to 35% better than 2013 Building Regulations by 2019 (Source: Policy 5.2 London’s Response to Climate Change – Minimising Carbon Dioxide emissions).


What can West London Energy Assessors do to support this?

West London Energy Assessors can undertake Operational Rating assessments for all public and commercial building types and produce Display Energy Certificates for those buildings requiring them, or for those operators of other buildings who require them on a voluntary basis.

We can also undertake carbon emission assessments from plans for all but the most complex commercial building type and then undertake and provide validation checks on completion to demonstrate compliance with Building Regulations Part L.