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Round Table: ‘Changing energy-use practices and patterns in commercially owned buildings'

Round Table: ‘Changing energy-use practices and patterns in commercially owned buildings'

6th May 2014
A parliamentary round table to explore the solutions for overcoming the 'landlord-tenant' problem prevalent within the UK's commercial property, chaired by Peter Aldous MP, Member of the Environmental Audit Select Committee.   The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has recently estimated that commercial sector-wide electricity savings from energy efficiency retrofit could equal 18.9 TWh by 2030.   Carbon emissions from buildings represent a significant proportion (37%) of overall UK emissions (570 MtCO2e). Together with rising energy prices and a greater proportionate use of electricity in the corporate sector, this presents a serious profit risk to private firms operating in, and owning, commercial buildings.   DECC outlined its approach to encouraging take-up of energy efficiency in its 2012 ‘Energy Efficiency Strategy’. Policy has been aimed at tackling informational and up-front cost market failures, most notably with the impending introduction of the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) and the use of Enhanced Capital Allowances. Baseline regulation for energy usage in commercial property does exist in the form of the 2018 implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).   In order to minimise the impact of the landlord-tenant problem on putting in place energy efficiency measures, it is clear that greater engagement between landlords and tenants is required. Launched in 2010, the LCW is a partnership between Threadneedle Investments UK, Stanhope Plc, the Carbon Trust and Low Carbon Workplace Ltd. and aims to help to prove the business case for low carbon refurbishment of existing office buildings and reduce operational carbon through effective stakeholder engagement and management.   Significant work has been undertaken to strengthen the business case for investing in energy efficiency through placing greater emphasis on the ‘softer benefits’ of energy efficient buildings. For example the World Green Building Council stated in ‘The Business Case for Green Building’ that improved temperature control systems can improve worker productivity by 11%.     Chair: Peter Aldous MP - Member, Environmental Audit Select Committee   Speakers: Philip Cox - Director for building standards and climate change, Department for Communities and Local Government (tbc) Dr Katy Janda - Senior Researcher, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford (tbc) Katherine Deas - Managing Director, Low Carbon Workplace Ltd. (tbc)   Visit the WSBF website to find out more.