Businesses must move faster than government policy on energy efficiency if they are to meet specific targets, but they are more than readily equipped to do so, the Aldersgate Group’s David Symons has said.
Speaking at Edie Live yesterday morning, Symons said that the government had thrown down the gauntlet to UK businesses to pursue energy efficiency improvements after introducing various pieces of legislation to help drive it.
The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) came into force late last year and looming changes to the carbon tax reporting framework also stand to incentivise reduced energy consumption.
“Government has done its bit – it has regulated for that. The challenge now is to actually do it, but you can’t underestimate the size of that challenge,” Symons said.
However Symons warned that one piece of legislation that had perhaps gone under the radar was the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS), which comes into force in Scotland in September 2016 and April 2018 in England and Wales.
Under MEPS no commercial property with an EPC rating of F or G will be able to be leased or sold, an initiative designed to incentivise landlords to make improvements to the UK’s sizeable building stock.
Last week property consultancy Tuffin Ferraby Taylor issued a warning that commercial landlords in Scotland appeared unprepared for the new regulations and cited new analysis in claiming that around 70% of property owners had yet to draw up action plans to comply.
Symons added to the brevity of that warning by claiming that around 25% of the UK’s entire commercial property stock was rated at EPC F or G, indicating that the policy stood to be a “massive driver” for improvements over the next two years.
Symons said that while the industry was now seeing “significant work” being conducted, time was running out for property owners to comply. “Two years is not a long time in property development cycles,” he said.