The need for VolDECs
There’s a growing need – across all sectors – for those responsible for buildings to monitor and manage their energy use better – whether it’s driven by the commercial bottom line, the ‘push’ of government legislation and initiatives, the desire to combat climate change, or the comfort and productivity of occupants.
Evaluating a building’s energy performance enables you to manage energy use better and to identify and prioritise opportunities for energy-related improvements – whether they’re capital investment, occupant education or building modifications.
It can often be a challenge to understand how much energy a building is using. However, the old adage: “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it” applies – but many people responsible for buildings often don’t know what to measure, how to measure it, how often it should be measured or how to interpret the data.
The first stage of a prioritised energy efficiency plan is to assemble some simple key data and information. The aim of VolDECs is to use this information to compare the performance of a building, or buildings either across a portfolio, or against published UK benchmarks for the same type. VolDECs also track the performance of a building against itself over the last three years.
Comparing buildings with each other and also with others of a similar design or use is another benefit of VolDECs; and energy managers are able to identify potential opportunities for energy efficiency improvement and to prioritise further, more detailed investigations.
Display Energy Certificates
The Government has decided not to mandate Display Energy Certificates (DECs) in commercial buildings. VolDECs address this shortcoming by offering a voluntary scheme that’s free from Government constraints and will hopefully gain the full backing of the industry. The scheme recognises the potential for:
- Gaining a deeper analysis and a better understanding of building energy performance
- Improving benchmarking standards that will benefit the whole sector
Statutory DECs provide a good starting point, but they have their shortcomings. Our VolDEC methodology aims to address these shortcomings, including the lack of flexibility in available benchmarks and the inability to split out performance. VolDECs also address issues that many buildings are stuck at a G rating with no clear direction on how to improve performance.