Using Display Energy Certificates to quantify public sector office energy consumption
This paper explores how internal and external characteristics affect energy use in the public sector office stock in England and Wales, using a database of 2,600 Display Energy Certificates (DECs) combined with other sources of disaggregated office information.
The DEC office benchmarks were shown to match the median fossil thermal and electrical consumptions well. Analysis of HVAC, size, occupancy density, building age, location and rateable value were considered. While newer offices were shown to have lower typical fossil-thermal consumption than older offices, this was counterbalanced by higher electrical consumption, resulting in higher typical CO2 emissions. This has implications for the UK's emissions reduction targets for 2050, indicating that while building regulations that focus on thermal performance have been successful, a focus on electrical consumption (both regulated and unregulated) is key.
The results were also compared with existing benchmarks for all UK offices, splitting the sample into four generic types, and compared to a similar smaller study of private offices. This indicated that public offices typically used less energy than the general benchmarks had previously predicted, particularly for prestige offices.