Check a public building's Display Energy Certificate

Find out about a public building’s energy use and carbon emissions by checking the Display Energy Certificate (DEC).

What a DEC will tell you

Display Energy Certificates (DECs) are designed to show the energy performance of public buildings.

They use a scale that runs from ‘A’ to ‘G’ - ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least.

You can see an example of a DEC.

Buildings that need a certificate

Public authorities must have a DEC for a building if all the following are true:

  • it’s at least partially occupied by a public authority (eg council, leisure centre, college, NHS trust)
  • it has a total floor area of over 250 square metres
  • it’s frequently visited by the public

How long DECs last

DECs last for 1 year for buildings with a total useful floor area more than 1,000 square metres.

They last for 10 years when the total useful floor area is over 250 square metres and up to 1,000 square metres.

Private organisations

Private organisations don’t need a DEC but can choose to get one if they want to. They may still need an Energy Performance Certificate if the building is sold or rented.

Where to find the certificate

Public authorities must display their DEC in a prominent place clearly visible to the public, eg near the building’s entrance. They can be fined £500 if they don’t.

Contact the occupier of the building if you can’t find the DEC.


Public buildings in Scotland must have an Energy Performance Certificate instead of a DEC.