Energy Saving Proves Vital for British Retail Landlords

BRITISH Land, one of the UK’s largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) is determined to show that energy saving initiatives are not just a lot of hot air.

After reducing energy costs by almost a third in its shopping centres and retail parks, British Land is now focusing its environmental efforts on office developments.

At an event hosted by British Land with University College, London’s Energy Institute, Justin Snoxall presented findings which demonstrate that management by the landlord, energy saving behaviours by the occupiers and focused capital investment are the way to create greener and more cost effective office space.

British Land’s trials of automated and advanced meter systems (AMR) show that landlords can have a direct influence on almost half of all energy used in an office building. Occupiers are switching on to the benefits of greater collaboration between themselves, landlords and building management teams.

In tandem with energy saving initiatives, British Land has introduced energy consumption reports for its occupiers. This shows each occupier’s use of energy and compares it to previous periods and their performance against all others in the building. The end result is friendly competition and incentives to become more efficient.

Monitoring and good management are key factors in energy savings and British Land’s experience shows that a lot can be achieved with relatively low levels of capital investment, in advanced metering particularly.

The key finding is that active management of the building is what really counts. Sometimes though larger scale capital investment is needed to take energy reduction to the next level. But who pays - landlord or occupier? Again British Land has crafted a solution - its own version of the Green Deal where British Land forward funds green capital investment and recovers these costs at no additional cost to occupiers through guaranteed savings in energy, which are given by the supplier. This enables the landlord to recoup investment costs through an increased service charge on the back of reduced costs for occupiers.

“There is a win-win opportunity for landlords and occupiers,” concludes Justin Snoxall. “In our experience collaboration and effective management literally means more comfortable occupants in buildings and less hot air being wasted.”

Photo from British Land Retail Mall

Tuesday 17th January 2012

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