Managing energy is a central part of responsible property management. Legal obligations relate to energy efficiency ratings, energy consumption incurs financial cost, and associated greenhouse gas emissions are often considered as part of a company’s net-zero commitment.
Managing energy involves understanding the way in which energy is used within a property, and how energy consumption can be reduced. It is also important to consider the potential to utilise energy from renewable sources.
A company’s environmental policy and objectives should set out its intentions in relation to energy management. In some cases, a company may have a bespoke energy policy statement, perhaps as part of a wider Energy Management System.
Environmental and energy policies and objectives provide a reference point for property managers when considering energy management at the property level. Reviewing this information can inform and guide the development of energy management plans and associated funding strategies.
A range of information, for example, design ratings, building and plant specifications, and recommendations from energy audits should be collated and incorporated within a property’s asset and other registers.
Specific consideration should be given to the inclusion of renewable and low carbon energy related assets.
Determining the arrangements for energy metering and billing is an important element of energy management. A Metering Plan should be developed to document metering arrangements for individual floors, units, common areas and critical services.
Improvement opportunities should be considered, for example, the installation of local and advanced meters and the inclusion of automated meter readings within property or portfolio level monitoring systems.
It is important that legal obligations relating to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) are included in the property risk register.
These obligations should be accompanied by suitable operational controls, with clear responsibilities, and cross-referenced to the Energy Action Plan.
An energy audit details the sources and quantities of energy consumption at a property and the effectiveness of energy management strategies. The audit should identify energy management improvement opportunities, along with associated cost savings.
The procurement of energy from renewable sources provides an opportunity to reduce the intensity of a property’s energy supply. This can contribute towards the net-zero aspirations of asset managers and occupiers.
Available data can be used to benchmark a property’s energy performance. This can be done by establishing energy use via sub-meters, individual plant, and comparing this against industry benchmarks to inform future energy improvements.
Energy performance targets, informed by the findings from energy benchmarking and audit activities, should be developed for the property.
Energy performance targets should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound, and may cover both energy reduction and energy efficiency measures as well as carbon dioxide equivalent measures.
An Energy Action Plan requires collaboration between asset managers, property managers, facilities managers and occupiers. The plan should document energy management arrangements, the actions that will contribute towards achieving the property’s energy targets, and monitoring and maintenance arrangements.
The plan should be reviewed at least annually as a collective exercise by all stakeholders. Energy Action Plans can also be combined at the portfolio level to inform strategic improvements.
A monitoring strategy should be prepared to track performance against Energy Action Plans and energy performance targets. This will enable the review and continual improvement of performance, and will contribute information for stakeholders’ sustainability reporting initiatives.
A maintenance strategy should be prepared to identify maintenance requirements for energy related assets, including information relating to newly installed or modified equipment. Specific consideration should be given to renewable or low-carbon energy systems, as well as mechanical and electrical services.
Based on the review of an Energy Action Plan and progress towards energy performance targets, property managers should engage asset managers and occupiers to discuss how future energy improvement initiatives can be funded.
Specific consideration will be required to consider the procurement of renewable or low-carbon energy.
These discussions may be informed by the outcomes of energy benchmarking and audit activities and could be guided by the high-level intent set out with the asset manager’s environmental and energy policies and objectives.