Giving occupants energy consumption updates via a TV monitor positioned in the lobby of a commercial property is the best way to reduce energy consumption, according to a new study.
The details of one of the fastest energy efficiency upgrades of a UK office property have been revealed, showing savings of more than 55% on tenant energy bills over the last four years.
The Birmingham property – owned, managed and retrofitted by the Climate Change Property Fund (CCPF) – has been awarded a display energy certificate (DEC) of ‘C’. Four years ago when the property was bought, the certificate was a ‘G’, the lowest grade.
A range of improvements were carried out, including the installation of LED lighting, and modifications to air conditioning units and electricity meters.
But it was the installation of a TV monitor in the lobby of the building – providing real-time updates of energy consumption – that had the biggest impact in focusing the minds of occupants and improving behaviour change, according to CCPF.
“Our efforts to engage with tenants to encourage environmentally conscious behaviour have paid off,” said Tim Mockett, joint CCPF managing director. “A DEC rating of 'C’ is remarkable for a property of its size and age and would not be possible without focused and informed collaboration.”
Since buying 5 St. Philips Place in Birmingham in 2009, CCPF has worked hard to improve energy efficiency with the building’s tenants, including Sainsbury’s, HSBC and Halifax.
A typical DEC score for a building of its age is size is a ‘D’ or ‘E’.
The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers figures show that just 23% of the UK’s office buildings are rated ‘A’ to ‘C’.
CCPF was recently recognised as Europe’s most sustainable office sector property fund by the 2012 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) survey. It has raised almost £70m from institutional investors since buying buildings to retrofit across the UK in 2000.