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UK-GBC slams proposed changes to energy certificates

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The UK-GBC has hit out over the government’s implementation of the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive

In an open letter to Don Foster, the under secretary of state Department for Communities and Local Government, Paul King of the UK-GBC ‘expressed deep concern’ at government proposals to change the use of energy certificates.

Public buildings in the UK over 1,000m² have been required to show a display energy certificate (DECs) since October 2008. But proposals from the government will allow these to be replaced by the ‘inaccurate’ and ‘misleading’ energy performance certificates (EPCs).

Designed for use in property transactions, EPCs show theoretical energy consumption and were not designed to be on show for public use. Highlighting that ‘non-domestic EPC’s seriously lack credibility’, the UK-GBC raised concern these two certificates could not be compared and their simultaneous use will make buildings displaying EPCs rather than DECs look to be performing better.

The council has also criticised the validity period for DECs which currently stands at a year but proposals could changes this to 10 years. The letter urges the government to reconsider, as ‘DECs in the public sector are driving performance improvements in large part because of their annual nature.’

The letter stated: ‘The current set up will neither minimise the burden on business, nor drive energy efficiency improvements. This whole policy area is crying out for a serious shake-up, so that we achieve carbon and energy reductions in a way that provides benefits for business.’

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