The UK government made history in June 2019, as it became the first major economy to pass legislation for Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions. This legislation mandates the UK to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The country also set a target to reduce business energy consumption by 20% by 2030 as part of its Clean Growth Strategy.
To achieve Net Zero by 2050, it is crucial that all sectors, including the construction and property sectors, adjust their practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Since 1 April 2023, all privately rented properties will need to have an EPC E or higher, regardless of whether or not there has been any change in tenancy. This change occurred to support the UK government’s plans to require all rented commercial and domestic buildings to have an EPC rating of at least B by 2030.
Here are some steps commercial landlords can take to improve their EPC and get ready for Net Zero:
- Assess your current carbon footprint: To reduce your carbon footprint, it is important to first understand your current position. For this, landlords need to calculate the carbon footprint of their properties and assess their energy efficiency, which can be achieved by getting an EPC for each property. From this, landlords can identify areas where they can reduce energy consumption.
- Develop a strategy for reducing carbon emissions: Once you have assessed your carbon footprint, the next step is to develop a strategy for reducing your emissions. This strategy should include a plan to reduce energy consumption, which could consist of switching to renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency.
- Encourage tenants to reduce their carbon footprint: Tenants can also contribute to cutting carbon emissions by reducing their energy consumption. Commercial landlords should encourage their tenants to adopt sustainable practices such as switching off lights appliances when not in use. To encourage such sustainable practices, landlords could provide incentives to tenants. For instance, a financial reward could be provided, such as discounts on bills if the tenant reduces their energy consumption.
- Consider retrofitting your properties: Retrofitting a property means making improvements to an existing building to improve its energy efficiency and make it more sustainable. This can involve a range of measures such as upgrading insulation, installing energy-efficient heating, replacing windows and doors, and installing renewable energy technologies like solar panels. Ofgem offers small businesses advice and helps them to find energy grants and schemes to help companies become more environmentally friendly.
- Monitor and report your progress: It is essential to monitor and report progress towards Net Zero to ensure that targets are met. Commercial landlords should regularly monitor energy consumption and carbon emissions and report progress to the relevant interested parties, as it will help to identify areas where improvements can be made.
- Stay up to date with regulations: With the regulations surrounding Net Zero likely to evolve as the UK moves towards its 2050 target, landlords need to stay up to date with any changes and adapt their strategies accordingly. Landlords must keep an eye on government announcements and seek professional advice if necessary.
- Collaborate with other stakeholders: Cooperation with other stakeholders, such as tenants, suppliers, and contractors, can be an effective way to lower carbon emissions. By working together, landlords and stakeholders can identify areas where energy consumption could be reduced and encourage suppliers and contractors to adopt sustainable practices.
Retrofitting properties can be a complex process, but with the right support, it can be done effectively and efficiently. Here at SCAPE, we are highly experienced in helping commercial landlords refurbish their properties in line with government guidelines. We have a proven track record of delivering high-quality projects across a range of sectors, including commercial developments. Don’t wait until it’s too late, get in touch with us today to start your journey towards a Net Zero future.