Energy non-compliance costs local authorities £65m per year
New research has found that more than half of local authorities are failing in their obligation to display up-to-date Display Energy Certificates (DECs) in public buildings - and potentially wasting £65m a year as a result.
The Property and Energy Professionals Association (PEPA) submitted a Freedom of Information request to ascertain how many local authorities in England and Wales were compliant with the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The directive requires all public buildings of more than 500sq m to display a current DEC. Shockingly only 47% claimed they were compliant.
A 2011 study by the Chartered Institute of Building Service Engineers showed that where DECs were used to actively manage and reduce energy usage, savings of up to 14% were achieved. Therefore, extrapolated and applied to an estimated local authority energy spend of £750m per annum, a saving of £65m has been calculated.
PEPA has pointed to the fact they see 'no political will within the Department of Communities and Government (DCLG) to address non-compliance' as the £1.9m of funding allocated to ensuring EPBD compliance is not ring-fenced, and therefore does not have to be used for this purpose.
PEPA chairman Stephen O'Hara said: 'The whole situation regarding DECs defies logic and common sense. The proactive use of valuable energy information has been proved to reduce costs to the taxpayer, but Government both central and local are either ignorant of this fact or do not seem to care. It is irresponsible of DCLG to show disdain for the regulations which they themselves have laid down as the law of the land, and potentially to incur swingeing financial penalties from Europe as a result.
"Regardless of your views on climate change and reducing carbon emissions, saving money and reducing pressure on hard pressed energy supplies must surely make sense even to those who want to cock a snook at Europe."