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Display energy certificates

The purpose of Display Energy Certificates (DECs) is to raise public awareness of energy use and to inform visitors to public buildings about the energy use of a public building. 

A DEC shows the energy performance of a building based on actual energy consumption for the previous 12 months. The DEC is valid for a 12 month period and must be displayed in a prominent place clearly visible to the public.

A DEC must be accompanied by a valid advisory report. The advisory report contains recommendations for improving the energy performance of the building and is valid for seven years. 

Which buildings need DECs? 

Any building with a total useful floor area of over 250m2 which is occupied by a public authority and frequently visited by the public needs to have a DEC. 

A public authority includes central or local government departments and some non-departmental public bodies. 

Public authorities and institutions include, for example: 

  • NHS Trusts 
  • healthcare centres (but not private care/nursing homes) 
  • hospitals (but not private hospitals unless NHS patients are admitted as well) 
  • council run leisure centres (but not privately run leisure centres or private health clubs) 
  • schools and higher education authorities, including universities (but not private schools)
  • large central post offices 
  • police stations, prisons and courts 
  • public libraries; and 
  • museums and art galleries sponsored by public authorities

What is meant by frequently visited by the public? 

The building must be frequently visited by members of the public to need a DEC, as the reason for having a DEC is to provide information to the public. 

There is no need to provide a DEC if it will never or only exceptionally be seen by members of the public. For example a DEC is not required if it is only visited by employees or by persons visiting to carry out maintenance or for the purposes of delivery. 

Who is responsible for displaying the certificate?

 The occupier of a building, to which this duty applies, is responsible for displaying the DEC. Both the DEC and the advisory report must be uploaded onto Landmark, the Government’s database, at www.epbniregisternd.com

How do I get a display energy certificate?

 An energy assessor, accredited to produce DECs for that type of building, is the only person who can produce a DEC and Advisory Report for your building. You can find an accredited energy assessor in your area at www.epbniregisternd.com.

Are there any penalties for not displaying a valid DEC? 

Yes, the penalty is £500 for failing to display a valid DEC at all times in a prominent place clearly visible to the public and £1,000 for failing to have possession of a valid advisory report. For more information about penalties see our Enforcement policy page

Further information

 Further guidance about DECs is available in our guidance document 1: 

If you have any queries about display energy certificates, please call us on 028 9027 0650 or freephone 0800 022 3004. 

For more information, go to the Northern Ireland Non Domestic Energy Performance Certificate Register website at www.epbniregisternd.com.


Contact us
Building Control Service
028 9027 0650
Building Control
Ground Floor
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8BP