I wholeheartedly agree with the argument put forward by Adam Branson in his article ‘Energy crisis puts pressure on both occupiers and landlords’. Despite the government recently announcing a six-month cap on energy prices, the real estate industry will need to take a creative, technology-enabled approach to alleviate damage.
While the focus has rightly been on individual households and families, commercial building owners will also suffer the consequences. The cost-of-living crisis is also the cost-of-doing-business crisis. Soaring energy costs can do serious damage to a business’s bottom line, and SMEs in particular may struggle to remain profitable or viable.
The government has already set out details of its Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which will see eligible non-domestic customers given a discount on gas and electricity unit prices until 31 March 2023. But with the energy crisis almost certain to last far beyond that, finding viable, long-term solutions is critical; short-term subsidies are simply not enough. Therefore, as an industry, we must take matters into our own hands.
From deploying energy-saving tech to improving insulation, there are various ways we can reduce energy costs in buildings. However, to make the necessary reductions to counteract the sharp price hikes, an altogether different approach is required.
Using technology systems to monitor a building’s electricity, gas and water consumption is one way to decrease use and therefore costs. But consider how much more powerful these systems would be if they were connected.
Having ESG data systems speak to each other can give deeper, holistic insights that can reduce consumption. And having new and legacy systems connected in a unified framework is an extremely effective way to monitor and reduce energy use, without deploying additional hardware. Once those connections are made, actionable data can be delivered to every stakeholder, including individual occupiers.
It’s a bold claim, but the whole sector has a part to play in turning this crisis around and saving our planet. While we may be bracing for a grim winter, commercial building owners have a lot to gain by thinking differently about how ESG data and technology is used in their buildings.
Marcus Moufarrige, chief executive and founder, ility