One of the most difficult challenges the UK faces on its decarbonisation pathway is the built environment and Commercial buildings.
Only 7% of commercial buildings are over 1,000m2; however, they account for over 53% of all the energy used.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) assess a building's energy performance. Using theoretical modelling, the EPC evaluates the building's fabric and services. If a building owner invests in improving their building's performance, their EPC score should improve.
EPC Certification has contributed to building carbon emissions falling 14% from 2008 to 2018.
However, the EPC does not measure metered energy consumption which is affected by how the building is maintained and managed.
In large and complex buildings, the evidence shows almost no correlation between a building's EPC score and its actual energy use in practice.
The 2021 consultation document sets out the Government's plans to introduce a national performance-based framework for assessing energy use in commercial buildings above 1,000m², with annual ratings and mandatory public disclosure.
The proposals reference international best practices, such as Australia's National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme (NABERS)
For building owners and businesses to improve a performance-based rating, they must understand how their building uses energy and how to reduce energy use – optimising the existing services and systems, behavioural changes or installing new equipment.
The ratings will be introduced in three phases over the 2020s and will align with the EPC target for all new and rented buildings to achieve a B rating by 2030.
Currently, buildings and landlords know little about the performance of their buildings beyond an annual energy bill.
A public star rating of all offices before the end of this decade will focus minds as it impacts investment decisions.
Platforms such as Twinview connect to existing Building Management Systems to provide a view of performance information on a single dashboard, optimising performance to improve the star rating.