The purpose of this Guidance Note is to provide asset managers, property managers and facilities managers with guidance on opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings.
Energy efficiency opportunities will vary depending on the building, however there are a number of general areas that support energy efficiency that should be considered. These include:
The built environment contributes around 40% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions (UK GBC). Energy efficiency, therefore, provides an important contribution towards meeting the Government’s target of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2050.
In addition to the Government’s target, asset managers and occupiers have their own sustainability targets, often including ambitious ‘net-zero’ pathways. For commercial property to remain attractive to the market, a sharp focus on improving energy efficiency will continue to be important.
The table below summarises the key activities associated with energy efficiency opportunities, and highlights where asset managers, property managers and facilities managers are likely to have a responsibility or specific interest.
Stage 1: Identify opportunities for improvement in efficiency
Stage 2: Prioritise the recommendations
Stage 3: Determine how the recommended initiatives are to be funded
Stage 4: Instruct the implementation of appropriate energy efficiency improvements
Stage 5: Monitor and report on the impact of the improvements
Energy efficiency opportunities vary considerably, ranging from behaviour change to procedures to optimise settings and controls, to significant capital investment projects. Different energy saving opportunity types will be of interest to, and the responsibility of, asset, property and facilities managers, and occupiers.
Energy efficiency opportunities involve the consideration of a number of elements:
There are different ways to approach the identification of energy opportunities. Determining the preferred approach will depend on multiple factors including the asset type, the availability of data, the technology installed and the budget available for investigation works.
If the budget for identifying energy efficiency opportunities is limited, the following should be considered:
If there is budget available for a more comprehensive review of energy efficiency opportunities, the following should be considered:
It is likely that a review of potential energy efficiency opportunities will provide multiple recommendations, some of which will be more practical than others.
An exercise to evaluate and prioritise opportunities should be undertaken. This should consider factors such as ease of implementation, cost, payback period and anticipated savings.
It is important to determine whether the asset manager is willing to fund or forward fund any of the recommendations identified by the review of potential energy efficiency opportunities which require capital investment. This is likely to depend on a range of factors, including payback period and alignment with corporate sustainability targets.
Other funding options may include the service charge (depending on the recommendation and the provisions within the service charge clause), or government grants for certain initiatives (for example there is limited government funding available for electric vehicle charger installations).
It is important that the parties who will carry out the energy efficiency improvements are identified and instructed.
For capital works, this will involve the procurement of suitable contractors. For behaviour change opportunities, engagement with communications and human resource teams within both property and facilities managers, and occupiers, will be important.
It is important that the energy data available for the property is reviewed before an improvement project is implemented to create a baseline, and also after the project. This will enable the impact of the improvement to be assessed and shared with relevant stakeholders.
There are a number of general areas that support energy efficiency. These include:
The following Guidance Notes contain related information: