Energy efficiency may well be ‘business as usual’ for many companies, but government leadership in the form of incentives - alongside clear and simple policies - is essential if we want to make UK commercial property more energy efficient and reduce its environmental impact.

Mat Lown

The TFT Energy Survey 2016, which asked 600 key investors and property managers how much of a priority energy efficiency is in their business, has offered some insight.

It demonstrates where good work has already borne fruit but also where the sector needs to seek to further influence government.

Four out of five commercial property landlords claim that a lack of government incentives is the single biggest barrier to widespread efficiency measures being introduced across their property portfolios.

TFT Energy Survey

And with a confusing array of disconnected, individual energy regulations, three out of four investors claim that the current regulatory framework is too complex to navigate. This is not good news for our sector, but the announcement of the fifth carbon budget does offer some hope, with fresh and ambitious carbon reduction targets.

TFT Energy Survey 2

“The rug has been pulled out from under us,” said one well-known investor talking about the steady withdrawal of government incentives.

So although attitudes towards - and awareness of - energy efficiency are extremely high, securing genuine change will continue to be a challenge.

TFT Energy Survey graphic

Perhaps most startling is the significant lack of confidence that investors have in the impartiality and independence of advice they receive from providers of energy efficiency solutions. And so, yes, we have the perfect storm creating an erosion of confidence in the sector that has become a major barrier to implementing efficiency measures.

Mat Lown, partner and head of sustainability, Tuffin Ferraby Taylor