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Morrell: display voluntary DECs first to help our case

Industry pleas for a mandatory roll-out of display energy certificates under the Energy Bill could fall on deaf ears according to
the government’s chief construction adviser.

Property chiefs and contractors (H&V News 18 May page 3) are lobbying ministers for the display of DECs to be regulated under the bill, which is due to go to committee stage in the House of Commons next week.

But speaking at the ACE Annual Conference 2011, chief construction adviser Paul Morrell suggested that the government was unlikely to do so.

“Every time you want to encourage the government to regulate you have to show them there is no other way. DECs should be made mandatory but [industry] probably has to go down the path of voluntary DECs and provide the evidence for our case,” Mr Morrell said.

“Every time someone says regulation is the answer you will have to go through the reasons why with government.”

DECs rate the energy efficiency of a building from A to G, based on the amount of metered energy it uses over a period of 12 months. They are currently required for all public sector buildings greater than 1,000 sq m.

In the Innovation and Growth Team report Low Carbon Construction, Mr Morrell recommended that the building industry post DECs voluntarily as “an act of leadership”. But he added that compulsory certificates should be brought forward “as quickly as possible” for non domestic buildings.

The UK Green Building Council is working on an Energy Bill submission, which reiterates its campaign to see DECs rolled out nationwide.