With rising energy costs and a recession expected throughout most of next year, we’re all too aware that energy efficiency will be top of the real estate agenda in 2023.

Organisations from all sectors have made net zero, sustainability and decarbonisation commitments, but what are now needed are data-driven, long-term strategies that will not only fulfil these ESG-led commitments, but also raise industry and national benchmarks to create places and spaces fit for generations to come.

Many organisations still do not have adequate data on

their assets and where they do it’s not being used to its full potential. The forthcoming EPC legislation is meant to help the industry ensure buildings are energy efficient, but having a good EPC rating doesn’t mean your building is operating at net zero.

This should be the year the property industry leads government, rather than the other way around. We need buildings to be designed to operate to mitigate their overall impact on the environment and to adapt to an ever-changing climate, rather than to meet tick-box-style legislation.

EPCs are blunt instruments in what is a very large toolbox, and we should recognise their limitations – they are no longer fit for purpose to address the environmental challenges we face today.

My hope for 2023 is that as an industry we prioritise in-use energy performance to evaluate the energy efficiency of buildings, and a mandatory need to disclose this information is already on the horizon.

In-use energy performance is a far more valuable metric, using real-time data to allow asset owners and operators to optimise their buildings and set them on a more realistic and achievable pathway to net zero.

Sadaf Askari, associate, smart energy and sustainability, Hydrock