Since their introduction back in 2008-9, commercial energy performance certificates have, in my experience, started to influence property owners and investors in Bradford and West Yorkshire. Yes, they are rather flawed due to the criteria used in making the assessment, but there is no doubt that awareness of them has increased, especially since many commercial agents now display the header graph rating on their marketing particulars.
Poor ratings can be a contributory factor in investors and their advisers down-valuing commercial properties that have received no investment in energy saving measures in recent years. Under current Government proposals, buildings that are rated at the bottom of the scale e.g. F and G could not be placed on the market after 2017 without improvements being carried out. This has come at a bad time for many investors who have had to contend with falling values, unoccupied rates and tenants ceasing trading during the long and deep recession of 2008-12.
Now that the economy is gathering steam after this difficult period, some commercial property owners will be more inclined to invest in their buildings. Surely there is something to be gained by achieving reductions in energy bills as these can be passed on to tenants and thereby make the enlightened landlord’s premises more attractive for letting or sale purposes.
Areas that are commonly cited for improvements include space heating boilers, thermostatic controls, more efficient lighting fittings and better insulation of windows, walls and roof space. Andrew Idle Associates have recently been investigating the potential of biomass boilers as an alternative to gas-fired conventional space heating systems. Some building owners are cautious of them because they do not have a long track record, but savings in bills can be attractive thanks to the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive.
We can arrange Commercial Energy Performance Certificates for Clients’ commercial properties in West Yorkshire and beyond.