Report reveals poor energy efficiency in UK public buildings

The Centre for Sustainable Energy revealed that thousands of government buildings are ranked in the lowest possible category for energy efficiency.


The Centre for Sustainable Energy, an independent research and policy group in the UK, compiled and released data from more than 40,000 public buildings, showing that the country faces a steep challenge to improve energy efficiency across the public sector.

Data taken from display energy certificates (DECs) awarded to schools, government departments, and council offices, shows that while 5% hold an A or B certificate, 15% are in the lowest G band.

While it is difficult to calculate exact figures due to the number of duplicates in the database, UK-based environmental news website BusinessGreen estimates that the figures from 2008 to 2010 show around 270, or just 0.7%, of public buildings have an A rating. In contrast, more than 6,000 were awarded the lowest G grade.

The figures for 2010 show little improvement since 2008, when the government assessed the energy performance of all public buildings of over 3,280 sq ft. These buildings are required to display DECs, which grade buildings based on their carbon emissions.

Take up of renewable energy by public buildings has also been sluggish with only around 120 buildings sourcing more than half their electrical energy from renewable power and fewer than 600 taking more than 1% of their electricity from renewable sources.

The data was released the day before UK prime minister David Cameron launched a new national carbon plan that will require all government departments to accelerate efforts to green their operations.

View the full Centre for Sustainable Energy report here.

View an interactive map of the data here.

- Edited by Bettina Chang, Consulting-Specifying Engineer,

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