DECC HQ slashes energy use

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has been awarded a new, improved Display Energy Certificate (DEC) rating of ‘C’ for its headquarters…

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has been awarded a new, improved Display Energy Certificate (DEC) rating of ‘C’ for its headquarters building.

A DEC is measure of the energy efficiency of a building, which is rated on a scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient and G being the least.

On moving into 3 Whitehall Place in Autumn 2008, it had a ‘G’ rating.  Since then DECC has made improving its energy efficiency and carbon emissions a priority, including the publication of its first ever Carbon Management Plan in July 2011.

Greg Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change said:

“The new higher DEC rating of “C” represents a great achievement for the Department over the last four years. Only 23% of commercial buildings are rated C or above.”

“Since 2008, the Department has cut its HQ building’s energy consumption by 60% and slashed carbon emissions by half. This is even more impressive when you consider that staff numbers in the building have risen since DECC took it on.”

“With the right commitment, large organisations can make a big difference to their overheads and to their environmental impact, and DECC’s achievement is proof of that.”

Based on current energy prices, we estimate to have saved around £156,000 in 2011/12 on energy bills as a result of the savings achieved, and expect to see even higher savings in 2012/13.

The Department has mainly achieved its new and improved rating through various building management projects, including:

  • the introduction of more occupancy controls on lighting in the building:
  • the installation of intelligent boiler load optimisation control units to two gas-fired boilers and;
  • the installation of variable speed drives to supply fans. 

The new DEC rating runs out in July 2013.  In order to maintain this rating, there are a number of energy saving projects planned for the coming year that are estimated to shave a further 4% of the footprint of 3 Whitehall Place.

To find out more about our carbon saving projects planned until March 2015, please refer to DECC’s revised Carbon Management Plan, published today.

Two other sustainability reports published today on the DECC website include:

Notes for editors

  1. A DEC is a mandatory requirement for all public buildings over 1,000 m² and must be displayed in a prominent place.  
  2. The DEC rating of 3 Whitehall Place has steadily improved with a G rating in 2008, an F rating in 2009, E rating in 2010, D rating in 2011 and a C rating in 2012.
  3. DECC achieved a B rating for its other main building, 55 Whitehall, in January 2012. The building had a D rating when DECC took it over in April 2011.
  4. More detail on the GGCs can be found on Defra’s Sustainable Development in Government website.
  5. DECC’s sustainability performance has been reported in its 2011/12 Annual Report and Accounts.
  6. Making DECC Sustainable webpages
  7. Read our latest blog from the Sustainability Team about how we reached our “C” rating