This week we’ve been talking to Tom Yearley and Bolaji Olaniru, (who look after energy at King’s), about DECs around King’s and how these help monitor the energy performance of our buildings.

Display energy certificates (DEC) were introduced to improve the energy performance of buildings and are used to display the actual energy performance of a building. Since January 2012, all public buildings with total useful area of more than 500m2 are required to display DEC in a place clearly visible to the public. This means that a lot of the buildings across King’s are now required to have a DEC on display.

DEC displays the Operational Rating (OR) of a building ranked from A-G, with “A” being the most efficient and “G” the least. This rating shows the amount of energy consumed by a building, calculated by comparing the value of carbon emissions per unit area with other buildings in the same OR category. Other metrics of a building are considered for the OR rating, including building category, location, unique property reference number, energy consumption, measurement period and total useful floor area. DECs are accompanied by an advisory report (AR) that helps the occupier to identify what may be done to improve the energy efficiency. The DEC is valid for 1 year and the AR is valid for 7 years in buildings over 1000 m2. For smaller buildings (between 500 m2 and 1000 m2) both the DEC and AR are valid for 10 years.

At King’s we currently manage 26 buildings which have DEC certificates. Within these buildings, nine have a rating of C (no As and Bs!) and four buildings are rated as ‘G’. As this shows a lot can be done to improve the energy performance of our building.

Currently within the Sustainability team we are focusing on two main methods to improve of energy efficiency: capital investments and behavioural change. Capital investments can help to make infrastructural change which can have a large positive impact on energy performance. However these projects are quite expensive and will require more labour and time to implement. Behavioural change therefore can have a huge impact on our energy use at King’s – and it’s free! These are the little things we can do as individuals, such as switching off electrical appliances, wearing warmer clothing in winter and using the stairs.

As a team we are working hard to try to improve our energy performance and are currently running a number of behavioural change programmes, including Sustainability Champions. You can make a difference so get involved! Contact us for more details or sign up to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with our future projects.