Since 2008 every public building or any building used by members of the public must show a Display Energy Certificate and report if they have a useful floor area of at least 1000m2. With effect from January 2012 this floor area reduces to 500m2. Fines for non-compliance can be as high as £1500 for each building without a Certificate so it is essential that those with responsibility for these buildings comply with the legislation.
Darlington Borough Council has a stock of 48 buildings used by the public or which the public have access to, including schools, sports and leisure centres, theatres and cinemas. So they have a major responsibility to ensure each of those buildings has a Display Energy Certificate as fines for not doing so would be detrimental to the council, be a waste of public funds that could be better spent elsewhere and lead to criticism and complaint. Additionally the Council is often asked how a particular school is performing in terms of energy expenditure and needs to be able to respond to such questions in a timely and accurate manner.
Following a tendering exercise, tadea were chosen to provide the Display Energy Certification service on behalf of Darlington Borough Council.
Darlington Borough Council receives data from the Utility companies in the form of gas, water and electricity bills. These show the units used, price per unit and total cost to be paid. The Council has no easy way to understand the data, identify trends or spot errors.
As part of the Display Energy Certification service the council’s data was passed to tadea, where it was analysed, questioned, processed and manipulated into user-friendly charts and graphs before being returned to the Council. This allowed for easy and immediate ways to understand what money was being spent on utilities. Trends and possible billing errors were identified and the Council now meets its obligations to have a Display Energy Certificate for each of its public buildings and is able to accurately respond to requests for information about their energy expenditure.
tadea are independent assessors therefore Darlington Borough Council can safely and properly state that they have no influence over the results provided. The Display Energy Certification service provided is considered by the Council to be a cost-effective solution to a necessary requirement that enables the Council to properly understand its energy expenditure.
Ross Harwood from Darlington Borough Council said, “tadea are asking the questions that need to be asked to protect us. We have a good working relationship and expect to be more involved with tadea when the legislation changes again in 2012”.