A new report concludes that Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are insufficient at delivering wholesale energy reduction across commercial properties.
The research by Jones Lang LaSalle and the Better Buildings Partnership (BBP), compared the actual energy consumption of two offices, one with a good EPC rating – its theoretical energy efficiency - and one with a poor rating.
It found that the office with the lower rating was 66% more efficient, in terms of actual energy consumption, and that the scenario is far from unique, with similar findings being found in a number of buildings across London.
Nick Hogg, senior consultant in Jones Lang LaSalle’s sustainability team, said: “Our objective in this report is to demonstrate how Energy Performance Certificates alone are not sufficient to deliver the government’s targets to ‘de-carbonise’ the UK’s built environment. EPCs focus on ‘design intent’ or theoretical energy efficiency."
The actual energy use of over 200 office buildings in London was considered in the study and their performance compared with their EPC ratings.
“Our findings demonstrate the issue of correlation between EPC ratings bands and actual performance. We emphasise the importance of measuring and achieving reductions in actual energy consumption in buildings. In doing so, we present the case for the introduction of mandatory Display Energy Certificates (DECs) for commercial property,” added Hogg. DECs are based on actual, metered energy consumption.
The research also explores how successfully the property industry is tackling the issue of reducing actual energy consumption. The BBP’s members have achieved an 8% reduction in CO2 emissions in the last two years along with compelling financial benefits - a reduced spend on energy bills totalling over £4 million.