Schal ensures no energy is wasted keeping public buildings green and legal

Expert issues reminder to building managers following new legislation requirements for Display Energy Certificates.

New government legislation brought in earlier this year requires all public buildings over 500 square metres to have a Display Energy Certificate. Schal Sustainability Group, part of Carillion plc, has issued a reminder to building mangers to make sure they are up to date and compliant to avoid financial penalties.

Previously all public buildings over 1000 sq metres required annual assessment and allocation of a display energy certificate (DEC), monitoring a building’s operational energy use. The recent legislation change has decreased the building requirement for certificates to just 500 sq metres and any public building that doesn’t comply in showing both a display certificate and advisory report faces a fine. The legislation does not affect commercial businesses as yet. Buildings protected as part of a designated environment or because of special architectural or historic merit are also exempt.

Schal has been offering its DECs service since 2011 and has successfully implemented assessments for clients ranging from the MoD and Land Registry through to hospitals across the UK.

Having previously surveyed 85 sites across Oxford for one client, providing certificates and advisory reports for schools and other local government buildings occupied by Oxfordshire County Council, Schal has subsequently ensured another 176 of the client’s smaller buildings now requiring DECs are energy assessed and compliant. This totalled 393 certificates in just a three month period, with Schal detailing how each building could reduce its energy use. This will be a benchmark against which clients will realise real energy reductions.

“As part of each assessment Schal supplies a list of suggestions to help clients reduce their energy consumption and therefore costs, with considerations including insulation and lighting through to specification of electronic goods,” explains Schal Manager, Richard Johnson. “We highlight and make high and low impact recommendations and provide an indication of the anticipated pay back benefits.”

Public buildings often tend to be older buildings, highlights Johnson. With for example a 1960’s office development, many of the problems may be down to factors such as poor insulation, whereas relatively modern buildings may mainly benefit from new lighting, which will see immediate pay-back. The assessment will highlight these areas and suggest – depending on their budget – which areas they should be focussing on for the most benefit. A large office block implementing some relatively low cost measures should not only pay back the cost of a Display Energy Certificate within a month, but should also be seeing some significant savings.

Schal surveyors are also taking efficiency yet another step further with the use of tablets and other technology to gather data, imagery and compile reports quickly and when on site. This means a reduction in office administration and most importantly end benefit to the client, with the ability to subsequently offer further cost savings and more consultant time on site to discuss potential options for reduction.

“The fact that Schal has a nationwide scope with offices across the UK, along with our ability to adopt large scale property portfolios and manage all site surveys and renewals, places Schal in a great position to offer businesses the very best and efficient service,” explains Johnson. “We also link in with Carillion our parent company and to offer a complete energy engineering, monitoring and reduction service as required by the client. Where Schal will carry out independent energy compliance and monitoring, Carillion then provide the implementation of works and energy reduction measures suggested by assessments.”

For more information or advice on decreasing building energy costs, contact Schal’s team on: T +44 (0)20 8256 4300 or email: info(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)