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Looking to save money on energy in your next commercial premises?

Energy performance is an ever-growing consideration for property management companies when tasked with site acquisition. This is partly due to today’s soaring energy prices but also because of a collective concern among businesses about the impact of Co2 emissions and the importance of being seen as an environmentally-conscious organisation.

Sourcing commercial premises which satisfy budget and lease requirements is simply not enough in today’s commercial property market and many businesses place energy efficiency as a top priority when looking for new premises.

Commercial property management companies can achieve significant annual savings for businesses by seeking out premises which are already energy efficient as well as clarifying the exact responsibilities of the tenant in maintaining internal energy systems. If your looking to build your own premises, they can also project manage every area of the design and construction to meet modern energy efficiency needs.

All commercial property owners are required by law to provide buyers or tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate(EPC) which rates energy efficiency on a scale of A (very efficient) to G (least efficient) as well as recommending improvements. Carrying out suggested improvements can enhance energy efficiency and save you money on energy bills but commercial property management companies will negotiate on your behalf with landlords to decide whose responsibility it will fall under.

Air conditioning units already fitted within commercial premises must be adequately maintained to ensure they continue to be energy efficient and will need to be inspected regularly by an engineer to meet health and safety compliance. Again, commercial property management companies can iron out these details during lease negotiation to protect businesses and clarify their responsibilities.

Another area where massive savings can be achieved in commercial properties is lighting. The Carbon Trust estimates that installing lighting refurbishment and sensor-based controls can lead to annual cost savings of 20%. Lighting accounts for up to 40% of a building’s electricity use and businesses would be wise to invest in LED lighting. With a minimum life of 50,000 hours, LEDs will last five times longer than the average bulb, saving energy and greatly reducing maintenance costs.

Peter Knight, managing director of Manchester-based commercial property management and construction consultantsKnight Site Solutions Ltd, said: “When you’re looking to relocate or expand your business portfolio, energy efficiency should be a factor in the selection process because it offers a real monetary saving, sometimes several thousand pounds depending on the building and its size. Obviously the age of any commercial premises can have a factor on energy efficiency, as new constructions will have been built with higher sustainability in mind however an EPC provides a useful guide as to how the building has been constructed, insulated and serviced and the likely impact this will have on your budget.

“Boiler efficiency plays a key role in the overall energy efficiency of a building and if the heating system is old, it may be wise to make improvements or to seek alternative premises. Here at Knight Site Solutions Ltd, we provide a full building maintenance service to tenants of commercial premises which incorporates energy efficiency to reduce costs and maximise efficiency.

“Businesses should always build energy efficiency into their refurbishments and fit-outs and as property managers we will build sustainability information into our advice to clients. With new buildings, developers should be mindful of the Breeam assessment scheme which will evaluate and rate a building’s design and construction specifications according to sustainability”.

Thanks to Knight Site Services for their contribution to this article.