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How can sustainability software help real estate save energy? 

Investing in energy-saving sustainability software helps combat your surging energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint. Energy data insight, visual dashboards, and strategic action plans interact to optimise your energy usage, drive cost savings, and deliver a clear roadmap for net zero compliance and resilient assets. 

What is sustainability software? 

Sustainability software reveals a detailed analysis of your energy consumption and carbon footprint, equipping you with the knowledge you need to streamline operations, make fast data-driven decisions, and safeguard your assets from fluctuating energy markets and environmental risks. Tightening your energy belt is a smart financial move, while tracking carbon emissions optimises your net zero roadmap for resilient assets. 

When combined with expert energy management consultancy services and green finance, sustainability software not only trims your energy consumption and carbon output but leverages a sustainable advantage in commercial real estate. Getting more done with less on one purpose-built platform delivers multiple business benefits for and beyond sustainable energy-saving. Here’s how. 

How does sustainability software slash energy? 

Leverage data insight to save energy consumption 

Incorporating sustainability software into your business strategy is like having a powerful ally in your corner, who’s dedicated to optimising your energy consumption. Gathering data from several energy sources, like automatic meter readings (AMRs), sensors, and power monitoring software (PMS), sustainability technology keeps vigil over your energy usage. Whether you’re tracking energy metrics in real-time or at quarterly intervals, sustainability software automatically notifies your sustainability and asset teams when energy levels reach a specific threshold or when there’s a potential problem. Readily available data and alerts support responsive decision-making to save energy consumption, waste, and expenses. 

Imagine being able to compare your current energy habits with those of the past. Sustainability platforms do just that. Importing legacy and current data, sustainability software verifies and analyses energy consumption, water usage, waste treatment, and carbon emission timeframes to deliver a comprehensive overview of your sustainability operations. Finding changes in energy consumption and associated metrics supports better understanding of what’s causing those shifts over time, so you can take immediate corrective action to enhance underperforming assets threatening to affect your fund or portfolio. Robust data acquisition and validation pinpoints these “offending energy zones” to improve your high energy-consuming assets. 

At EVORA Global, our purpose-built SIERA sustainability platform centralises Action Plans for collaboration, visibility, and shared responsibility. Action Plans enable business teams to target asset energy consumption, track improvements over time, and strengthen responsive budgeting. Its sustainability software highlights emerging risk factors and identifies any inactivity threatening to jeopardise your progress towards achieving predetermined energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. Your top five sustainability impact categories are also visually highlighted to prioritise sustainability strategies. 

As AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), and NLP (Natural Language Processing) technologies advance, your sustainability data collections could generate scenario-based models and directly evaluate your progress against Paris Climate Agreement and Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor (CRREM) targets. For example, an upcoming release of our SIERA platform will feature a CRREM-aligned Net Zero Carbon (NZC) feature to supply transparent, science-based decarbonisation pathways that aim to save energy, cut carbon emissions, and set targets for future timeframes for both environmental elements. 

Accessing and tracking sustainability data helps your real estate business anticipate changes in energy consumption trends to proactively respond to disruptive energy markets or supply chains. This informs smart financial budgeting. When selecting a market-leading sustainability software platform, it’s important to focus on automated sustainability data monitoring to keep up to date on changing energy costs. It’s a key driver for adaptive and resilient energy-saving decisions. Added to this, when your current performance and potential new improvements are clearly outlined in your sustainability software platform, alongside cost-savings, your business can better prepare, adapt, and control its energy consumption. 

It’s also crucial to ensure your energy-saving efforts are informed by accurate and reliable data, so pay heed to the adage “garbage in, garbage out” – low quality data generates inferior data insight. Sustainability software can review energy consumption data for all your assets to find data gaps or inconsistencies, and then recommend steps to address these weak points to deliver robust energy data collections worth their weight in gold. 

Visualise your energy data to maximise energy savings 

Sustainability software visually represents your valuable energy consumption, waste, and carbon emission data insight to display visual energy profiles. And handy dashboards highlight abnormal consumption trends or events for immediate attention. For example, SIERA detects anomalies in utility consumption patterns, which could relate to damaged or inefficient appliances using more energy than necessary. By finding these energy-draining operations and areas of waste, your real estate business can optimise its energy usage, reduce its energy waste, and improve its overall environmental impact. 

Track your energy emissions data to optimise your NZC roadmap 

Sustainability software helps real estate businesses capture, track, and measure scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions to accurately measure GHG emissions and achieve climate commitments. According to Closing the Climate Action Gap by BCG, only 9% of organisations measure their total emissions comprehensively, while 81% omit some scope 1 and 2 emissions, and 66% do not report any scope 3 emissions. Organisations also estimate an average error rate of 30-40% in their measurement. Without a complete understanding of your emissions, it can be difficult to set meaningful reduction priorities and track progress. 

Likewise, the GRESB 2022 Real Estate Assessment Results reveal a “slight decrease in energy, GHG, and water scores as a result of real estate portfolios returning to a pre-COVID-19 state of operations” and highlights that the “like-for-like (LFL) increase in energy consumption is most significant in Europe (3% LFL consumption change)” for real estate and investment funds. Going forward, energy and water consumption need to be kept in check. Sustainability software automates GHG data ingestion, tracking, and performance to set achievable reduction targets, helping businesses streamline operations and processes to advance climate commitments. 

Reducing direct and indirect emissions and saving energy consumption is also achieved by implementing physical energy-efficient measures. For example, lighting sensors and motion detectors identify uninhabited areas to control the right amount of light at the right time (daylight harvesting) and switch off idle electrical equipment. Investing in renewable energy sources like UV Solar or purchasing renewable energy from offsite wind turbines is key. Encouraging fuel-efficient vehicles, carpooling or alternative transport, and installing onsite EV (Electric Vehicle) car and bike charging stations helps. Implementing waste reduction and recycling, promoting sustainable practices across supply chains, installing insulation, energy-efficient windows, and high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems all contribute to energy-saving, but these tactics are beyond the scope of this blog. 

Report your energy data for energy-efficiency compliance 

Conserving energy in your commercial assets also promotes compliance with energy-efficiency regulations and standards. Automated sustainability software generates auditable energy consumption reports and audits to find energy-saving opportunities. In England and Wales, regulations for Minimum Energy Efficient Standards (MEES) mandates that all new commercial property leases must reach a minimum E energy rating or risk penalties. These fines can range from 10% of the property’s rateable value, with a minimum fine of £5,000 and a maximum of £50,000. Starting April 2023, these minimum energy ratings and penalties will apply to all (not only new) leases. Furthermore, MEES is expected to become more stringent over coming years, uplevelling the threshold to a minimum C rating by 2027 and a B rating by 2030. 

To comply with these regulations and avoid penalties, it’s crucial to evaluate your real estate assets now and find those that fail to meet current or imminent new standards. Planning and budgeting for energy-saving upgrades and obtaining necessary approvals are core considerations. Sustainability software can supply Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) to prioritise your energy-efficiency measures, improve your asset value, and mitigate fines. 

Step beyond energy saving to build better assets 

Investing in sustainability software is a smart strategy to save energy and associated consumption or waste generation. It reduces your costs, improves your sustainability performance, and shows your commitment to protecting our planet. At EVORA Global, we’re always developing our SIERA sustainability software and expert consultancy services to help make your buildings more productive, profitable, and resilient to change. 

Don’t fall behind in sustainability technology. Contact the SIERA team (hello@sieraglobal.com) to find out how SIERA can reduce your energy consumption and carbon emissions to future-proof your real estate assets. 

Investor demand drives US launch for EVORA Global

EVORA Global opens in New York to help fund managers keep investment flowing amid rising concerns about ESG regulations and sustainability

With pension funds and portfolio holders in the United States increasingly under the spotlight for their ESG performance, EVORA has been experiencing high demand for our services. There is huge untapped demand in the US and opportunity for growth.

As a result, we are delighted to announce the opening of EVORA Global offices in New York after repeated requests from our global client base.

The launch comes during New York climate week (September 19-25).

EVORA has acquired offices on 42nd Street, New York and plans to create up to 100 jobs over the next five years. It has also hired sustainability veteran Yetsuh Frank, formerly of the Building Energy Exchange and the Urban Green Council, as its Executive Vice President. Heading the US office is EVORA’s co-founder Ed Gabbitas, while Net Zero specialist Ryan Sit will operate as global head of carbon strategy.

“We have fund managers urging us to move into the US market because they are struggling to access funds based in Europe. European investors want to be sure what they are backing is strong from an ESG approach and also complies with environmental legislation. Sustainability and climate risk are on everyone’s agenda right now and investment managers need ESG information about their assets. Our clients want us there to keep their investment flowing and to ensure they have information on climate risk. Our potential for both growth and impact here is huge.”

Chris Bennett, EVORA Executive Director and Co-Founder

“EVORA is just the sort of company the US needs right now. We may be behind Europe in terms of legislation, but the demand for better data and advisory on sustainability and climate risk is very high. New laws are coming into force and investors are under pressure to demonstrate they can become more sustainable.”

Yetsuh Frank, Executive Vice President

“It’s an opportunity too good to miss. The US real estate market is three times the size of Europe’s. But it is behind in terms of environmental legislation. We believe we can benefit both clients and the planet by being here.”

Ryan Sit, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Carbon Strategy

“Public expectations of companies are increasing all the time. Sustainability has to be part of the plan. The next few years are going to be incredibly exciting as real estate undergoes a major transition.”

Ed Gabbitas, Principal

EVORA revealed as finalists in Edie’s Sustainability Leaders Awards

In EVORA’s first year of entering, we are thrilled to be finalists in three categories for the Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards 2019.

We are proud to be finalists in the ‘Consultancy of the Year’ category, along with a number of other outstanding organisations and we also made the list of finalists for the ‘Energy Efficiency’ category with our client Schroder Real Estate Investment Management.

Our Founder and Managing Director, Chris Bennett is also one of the finalists for ‘Energy Management Leader of the Year’ and will be presenting to the panel of judges later in the year.

Chris said, “This is an amazing accomplishment for EVORA. We have doubled in size over the last year and have built a really forward-thinking team, we’re also very fortunate to be working with some great clients. It’s wonderful to be recognised for the work that we are doing in the real estate sustainability sector and we have some really exciting plans on the horizon.”

The team looks forward to meeting fellow finalists and judges at the awards ceremony on 6 February.

There were a record-breaking number of entries this year for the awards, which have undergone a major revamp, with a new judging panel and additional new categories for 2019. The awards are a celebration of organisations who are embedding sustainability in their operations, business models and products, the winners are in the vanguard of sustainability and are driving demonstrable results through innovation, engagement and a commitment to doing business better.

You can find the full shortlist here.

IoT: How can it help address urban sustainability challenges?

A common trend occurring in countries across the world is the movement of people into cities. The knock-on effect of city growth is that their energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions rise exponentially in order to meet the needs of the inhabitants.

Current estimates state that cities consume over two thirds of the world’s energy and are responsible for similar levels of global greenhouse gases[1]. As cities are expected to continue growing in the future, it is important that urban sustainability issues and challenges are addressed in order to restrict the impact of climate change.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices which can connect and exchange data. Often, IoT forms the basis of new innovative approaches, which are presented as the solution to many urban sustainability challenges. According to the world economic forum[2], which analysed 640 IoT deployments, it found that 84% of these can in some way help address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the global potential of IoT. For the purpose of this blog I have focused upon two key areas of interest to me, air quality and commercial buildings. In both of these areas the IoT has the potential to drive sustainability progress forward.


Air Quality

Air quality has received considerable attention in the media over the past year. In London, where we are based, the major source of pollution derives from transportation. It is important for environmental and health reasons that within cities we are able to monitor air quality effectively. However, a key challenge has always been the coverage.

Often air quality is measured by monitoring stations at set locations providing limited spatial representativeness, which is problematic in densely populated areas where significant variations can occur due to a wide range of emission sources. Advances in low power wide area (LPWA) networks (long range wireless communication) has enabled small and low-cost sensors to be developed, which can be attached to street furniture (think sign posts and street lights) within cities. Readings can be received in real time from these sensors providing air quality data with greater depth and scope than before. Using this information in models can support decision making processes and also help raise general awareness of the issue.

A practical example using IoT to improve air quality monitoring is the Air Map Korea Project[3], which involves sensors (with IoT capability) being placed on over 4.5 million telephone poles, 60,000 public phone booths and 4000 offices. The desired result is for the data to help government-led efforts to reduce air pollution. Another example, slightly closer to home is a mobile air quality monitoring project in Glasgow[4], where sensors are placed in vehicles to provide readings throughout the city. I am expecting more and more schemes like these two to start occurring in cities around the world.


Commercial Buildings

Cities contain a wide variety of commercial buildings, such as offices, hotels and shopping centres, which account for a considerable part of the overall energy demand. If cities are going to continue to grow as expected, it is vital that these buildings are able to reduce their energy demand and associated carbon emissions. Savings can often be achieved through improving the operational functions. Commercial buildings commonly have a set level of intelligence built in, with internal networks providing a tool for communication between equipment, for example as part of the Building Energy Management System (BEMS).

Approaches utilising the IoT are now offering greater system connectivity, providing building managers with more accurate data and better methods to regulate and control internal conditions, enabling building environments to be improved and efficiency savings achieved. An example of this connectivity would be a building where heating and cooling is adjusted automatically based on the occupancy and weather conditions or even lighting systems that adjust to our natural circadian rhythm.

At EVORA, we have been providing monitoring and targeting consultancy across a range of assets to help reduce consumption within buildings. Our SIERA software can be directly linked to a utility AMR stream providing us with consumption readings every 30 mins. Through reviewing the data monthly, we are able to optimise plant equipment timings and highlight unusual fluctuations, leading to financial and carbon savings (click here to see a case study where we delivered energy savings of 30%).

Having greater connectivity allows for services like this to exist, which improve the internal environment and assist in the way buildings are managed and operated, offering a viable solution for lowering energy demand from commercial buildings.

If you are interested in discussing this further or want to know how EVORA could help your organisation with sustainability initiatives,then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the team.


[1]C40 Cities – https://www.c40.org/why_cities
[2]World Economic Forum – http://widgets.weforum.org/iot4d/
[3]Business Korea – http://www.businesskorea.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=19374
[4]ScotlandIS – https://www.scotlandis.com/news/2017/september/with-iot-air-quality-in-glasgow-gets-smart/

Transparency and the business case for ESG in Real Estate

Last month we ran a thought leadership event on ‘Real Estate Sustainability: Planning for 2018 & Beyond’ kindly hosted by our client Schroders.

Two key themes were raised by the speakers and the panellists, which are certainly not mutually exclusive. The first was setting out the business case for ESG in Real Estate and the second was the issue of transparency.


Evolution of GRESB for 2018

Sander Paul van Tongeren, Managing Director of GRESB kicked off with 2018 updates for GRESB. Increased transparency is being introduced through ‘Validation Plus’ applied to a sample of indicators for all participants (as opposed to a sample of participants). Ensuring quality of submissions through greater transparency is essential for the ongoing credibility of the survey.

Sander Paul made it clear that GRESB is increasingly focussing on the asset level.  The GRESB Assessment at the fund level will be strengthened by adding asset level data.

In addition, Sander Paul made it clear that GRESB is increasingly focussing on the asset level.  The GRESB Assessment at the fund level will be strengthened by adding asset level data. This will necessitate the collection of asset level data where the transparency of that data has been evaluated, i.e. has it come from a trusted source, and its quality identified through adequate validation. This is where sophisticated software systems such as SIERA will become fundamental in receiving asset & meter level data with automated validation functionality to ensure the completeness and quality of the data, which will support high scores in GRESB.


Transparency through public disclosure

Ed Gabbitas of EVORA presented the findings of a recent research paper identifying that strong sustainability practices combined with public disclosure are associated with superior investment returns. The award-winning research found that “sustainable” Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) benefited from higher rental income and lower interest expenses, resulting in increased cash distribution to shareholders. A lower risk profile was also identified attracting higher premiums to Net Asset Value (NAV). Transparency through public disclosure was found to be a key facilitator of driving improvement.

Overall, a 3% fund return uplift was observed between the lowest and highest GRESB scoring funds.

Ed went on to highlight research to evaluate if strong GRESB performance correlates to enhanced fund returns for non-listed funds. Overall, a 3% fund return uplift was observed between the lowest and highest GRESB scoring funds. These finding are clearly helpful enabling the capital markets to use GRESB as a broad indicator of fund quality in their evaluation.


ESG ratings lead to better financial performance

Murray Birt, Senior ESG Strategist at Deutsche Bank advised there had been more than 2000 academic studies since 1970, seeking to identify if there is a link between ESG and financial performance – clearly not a new endeavour! The findings demonstrated high ESG ratings correlated to better financial performance across multiple asset classes and regions.

Neither this, or the immediate impact of global physical climate change, which Murray also highlighted, have had a major impact on the uptake by the real estate industry, to accelerate energy efficiency in buildings. The answer – improved and increased European wide policy requiring corporate disclosure and greater transparency to promote the setting and delivery of long term objectives to address climate risk.


Social Value and Impact Investing

Finally, Debbie Hobbs, Head of Sustainability at L&G Real Assets presented on the importance of Social Value and Impact Investing, ensuring investments generate a beneficial social impact as well as a financial return. Debbie presented research highlighting that nine out of ten millennials believe the success of a business should be measured by more than just financial performance and 60% of millennials want to join companies that have a societal purpose. Fundamentally transparency of impacts and social engagement is becoming a necessity, both in the way funds invest and corporates run their businesses.

60% of millennials want to join companies that have a societal purpose.

Anecdotally, we have recently been recruiting for a number of positions at EVORA, and remarkably, so far, every candidate interviewed has highlighted EVORA Giving, which focusses on our social side of sustainability, as a key element that has attracted them to apply to EVORA.


Transparency and the business case for ESG

So, going back to our two key themes. Firstly, transparency is clearly the new buzz word and for many good reasons it should help bring quality, clarity and progression of the ESG agenda.

[clickToTweet tweet=”A decade ago I saw sustainability almost as a leap of faith for many – now I see it as a leap of common sense. ” quote=”A decade ago I saw sustainability almost as a leap of faith for many – now I see it as a leap of common sense. “]

And what about the link between ESG and fund performance? – well research, which has been ongoing since the 1970s, has shown that there is direct correlation. Will that put the debate to bed? I doubt it. But as I said in my closing remarks at the event, a decade ago I saw sustainability almost as a leap of faith for many – now I see it as a leap of common sense. So let’s stop putting our energies into trying to prove its worth and instead make our buildings and the world we live in more sustainable.


If you have any questions about the event or would like to speak to us about how we can support you with your GRESB submission for 2018, please get in touch with the team.

 


GRESB Premier PartnerAs a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner, we are perfectly positioned to provide GRESB support. View our official Premier Partner profile.

We can work with you to complete the submission and understand your scoring, as well as develop a sustainability plan that will improve your future GRESB performance and align with your organisation’s key environmental objectives.

EVORA to Manage Real Estate Sustainability Event for Over 100 Delegates

On Wednesday 7th February 2018, we are delighted to be running an event for over 100 commercial real estate and sustainability professionals.

Real Estate Sustainability: Planning for 2018 & Beyond


What started out as an idea in November for a small workshop-style event for up to 30 people quickly escalated into something much larger when we received over 30 bookings before Christmas. Thanks to our client, Schroders, who are hosting the event for us in the auditorium of their Gresham Street office, we are now able to accommodate up to 130 attendees.

With six guest speakers and panelists including Sander Paul van Tongeren, Managing Director of GRESB, Debbie Hobbs, Head of Sustainability at Legal & General Investment Management, and Murray Birt, ESG Thematic Research Strategist at Deutsche Asset Management, participants have been eagerly booking onto the event to hear from such industry experts.

[clickToTweet tweet=”We’re currently at 105 registrations with some spaces remaining! So, why not join your peers and kick-start your year” quote=”We’re currently at 105 registrations, meaning we still have some spaces remaining! So, why not join your peers and kick-start your year”]

We’re currently at 105 registrations, meaning we still have some spaces remaining! So, why not join your peers and kick-start your year by learning the answers to the following questions:

  • How can you make 2018 your best year yet for meeting your sustainability goals?
  • What are the new risks and opportunities you should be aware of this year?
  • What changes are on the horizon for GRESB?
  • How can social value be measured?

We firmly believe this is set to be one of the biggest and best consultancy-organised events that the UK commercial real estate sustainability sector has seen to date. Don’t miss your opportunity to be a part of it. We expect the remaining few places to go very quickly!


Enquire now by completing the form on this page

Greater Automation in SIERA Delivers Even Greater GRESB Reporting Efficiencies

It’s that time of year again; GRESB reporting has the potential to take over your life.

The complexity in pulling together the varied data elements alone can be enough to make you want to pull your hair out! But GRESB continues to gain momentum and there is no doubt it is mobilising many organisations to take action to collate and better understand their environmental data, which should lead to performance improvement.

So is there a magic solution to deal with the complexity of GRESB data reporting?

Well yes, actually!

GRESB has allowed the automated transfer of Performance Indicator (PI) data from sustainability management software systems, such as SIERA, directly into the GRESB portal for the last few years.

SIERA, our proprietary sustainability software developed specifically for the real estate industry, was one of the first software platforms to transfer PI data directly into the GRESB portal, which we implemented for the 2015 reporting year.

The PI automation, together with SIERA’s revolutionary ‘Drag & Drop’ data loading capability has seen efficiencies of at least 70% in delivering GRESB reporting.

Automating the reporting is only one-half of the challenge. The potentially bigger half is the collation of the data in a format that enables the PI reporting. SIERA has revolutionised this process through its highly efficient ‘Drag and Drop’ data loading functionality – never before has loading and validating sustainability data been so easy and efficient.

[clickToTweet tweet=”SIERA’s drag & drop #data loading can lead to efficiencies of >70% in delivering @GRESB reporting” quote=”SIERA’s Drag & Drop data loading capability has seen efficiencies of at least 70% in delivering GRESB reporting”]

Even more GRESB reporting efficiencies for 2017?

This year, GRESB has gone a step further and incorporated additional questions, beyond the PI reporting, into their Asset-level Integration – an asset level template that can be interfaced into the GRESB portal providing semi-automation. These include some qualitative questions around whether the reporting entity monitors energy, water or waste (Qs 23 -24) as well as well as completion of technical building assessments (Q16).

SIERA has already built these into its GRESB Asset Interface template. But we’ve gone a step further with SIERA and automated the responses for R5.1 (portfolio characteristics) and Q31 (EPC coverage) delivering further efficiencies and simplification to the GRESB reporting process.

SIERA: it’s leading the way in GRESB data automation and reporting.


 To learn more about how SIERA can deliver GRESB reporting efficiencies, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


GRESB Premier PartnerAs a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner, we are perfectly positioned to provide GRESB support. View our official Premier Partner profile.

We can work with you to complete the submission and understand your scoring, as well as develop a sustainability plan that will improve your future GRESB performance and align with your organisation’s key environmental objectives.

Are You 100% Prepared for GRESB? Take this 2-minute survey to find out

The window for GRESB submissions opened on 1 April and participants have until 1 July to complete the survey.

At EVORA, we support over 50 submissions each year, making this time of year a very busy period for us.  We are GRESB Premier Partners, and operate SIERA, our market-leading software, to ensure effective collation and analysis of data. In short, we are GRESB experts!

To help you with your preparations, we have created the following self-diagnostic questionnaire.

It takes 2 minutes to complete and is comprised of simple Yes or No questions. The questions can be used to analyse progress and preparation, and to flag where further consideration is needed.

With less than 50 working days before the survey deadline, ensuring you’re well prepared is key.



Further GRESB Reading:


For any questions about GRESB, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are perfectly positioned to assist you.


Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) Regulations: How they will impact flexible workspace from April 2018

Scroll down for our MEES Management 10-Point Strategy


What I’m about to write will come as a great shock to many operators in the serviced and managed office industries: you may not be able to sign up clients for more than 6 months as of April next year. This is less than a year away!


Why is the flexible workspace market at risk?

As of April 1 2018 landlords are no longer able to lease out commercial office space in buildings with an F or G EPC rating unless a time-limited exemption applies, which must be registered on an Exemptions Register.

Many serviced and managed office providers thought that they were exempt from this rule as they are not the primary landlord, however this regulation applies to any tenancy agreement over 6 months and this can include sub-leases and agreements sometimes referred to by serviced operators as licenses (we’d recommend that you speak to your solicitors to determine if your “license” really is a license or a lease/tenancy). This creates something of a challenge for the serviced workspace sector. But they are not the only ones who are not aware of the legislation: in a recent survey by Property Week magazine, 32% of all respondents did not know what MEES was and how it would impact their business.

[clickToTweet tweet=”In a recent @PropertyWeek survey, 32% of respondents still didn’t know what #MEES was…” quote=”In a recent PropertyWeek survey, 32% of respondents still didn’t know what MEES was and how it would impact their business.”]

MEES represents a significant risk to companies looking to sub-let space, because they may be treated as a landlord and as a result must undergo the same process of due diligence as the superior landlord.


What about the rest of the market?

Outside of the serviced office sector, occupiers of all types of non-domestic property may struggle to sublet sub-standard space without undertaking improvement work, the benefit of which may ultimately revert to the superior landlord. And while assignments are not captured until 2023, sub-standard properties may become stigmatised by their poor EPC rating making this type of transaction difficult. Indeed, there are already occupiers, such as Government and large corporates that will not lease sub-standard space. As an example, EVORA was recently engaged to develop an EPC improvement strategy by a fund landlord that needed to obtain a C EPC rating to secure a Government department. This requirement for a C rated property goes far beyond the requirements of MEES, highlighting the growing importance of EPCs as a benchmark for predicted energy efficiency.

Landlords with E (or even in some cases D) rated properties may still be at risk because the EPC calculation is dynamic. The calculation methodology is linked to Part L of Building Regulations which deals with the conservation of fuel and power in new properties. Part L, like most of Building Regulations, is updated on a periodic basis and the minimum energy efficiency targets in Part L have to-date been strengthened with each successive iteration. This has impacted the EPC rating, and in particular the changes adopted in 2010 affected EPC ratings from 1 April 2011 onwards (the date on which EPC software was updated). In plain English, what this means is that an E rated property before 1 April 2011 if reassessed today is likely to be an F or G rated asset if nothing in the building has changed. This means that planned preventative maintenance and improvements will need to factor in these regulations.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Landlords beware: even your D or E rated properties may still be at risk from #MEES…” quote=”Landlords beware: even your D or E rated properties may still be at risk from MEES regulations…”]

Failure to comply with the regulations will result in fines of between £5,000 and £150,000. The enforcement authority may also impose a publication penalty. This means that the enforcement authority will publish some details of the landlord’s breach on a publicly accessible part of an Exemptions Register.


What actions can you take?

Here is The EVORA 10-point Strategy for Managing MEES (an image version is available at the bottom of this post):

  1. For landlords with multiple assets, such as funds or workspace providers, review how you store your data. This should be digitalised and in a central and accessible location
  2. Identify where there are gaps in the data (missing EPCs etc.) and identify those assets that are at risk by virtue of their (EPC) rating, capital or rental value and/or a lease or transactional event
  3. Consider the use of software such as EVORA’s highly versatile, market-leading platform, SIERA
  4. Use or involve CIBSE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) accredited assessors, or assessors that work for a recognised and reputable engineering practice – preferably with additional professional qualifications (such as those recognised by the Engineering Council)
  5. Have your professional EPC assessor review the existing certificate for accuracy and relevance
  6. If it is necessary to prepare a new EPC, ask for an indicative (draft) certificate. The assessor may be able to deliver an improved rating by using better quality data and/or by having better knowledge of building services. However, if the asset remains at risk from MEES, then commission a strategy to improve the building to include capital costs, energy savings and, where appropriate, life cycle costs
  7. Review point 6 in the context of the lease(s) and the fund or asset management strategy
  8. Consider ways to recuperate capital costs through energy savings or asset management driven opportunities
  9. Ensure you retain future access to the energy model used to prepare the EPC and utilise it for energy and asset management purposes, including MEES management. After all, you paid for it!
  10. Finally, to ensure that you’re getting the best result from your EPC-driven improvements, review how operational performance can be monitored to determine if the predicted energy savings align with the operational realities. Again, SIERA can assist with this, thanks to its intuitive and easy-to-use monitoring and targeting capabilities

[clickToTweet tweet=”Here is the @evoraglobal 10-point Strategy for Managing #MEES Regulations…” quote=”Here is The EVORA 10-point Strategy for Managing MEES Regulations…”]


Final Thoughts

This all sounds very onerous, but in fact MEES should be regarded as an opportunity.

For occupiers

MEES is obviously an opportunity to save money through reduced energy bills and resultant CO2 emissions, and energy efficient buildings are more likely to help deliver a productive working environment.

There are also opportunities for occupiers to use MEES to mitigate rental increases after 1 April 2018 as a result of rent reviews and lease renewals. And it may be the case that occupiers can use MEES to reduce or remove any liability towards dilapidations.

For landlords

MEES is a great opportunity to engage with tenants, but if that were not incentive enough – MEES will become increasingly synonymous with building value and building resilience. Improve your EPC rating and you reduce your risk, and this could influence yields and even, in time, headline rents.

Energy savings could provide an opportunity to look at alternative methods of financing, using the value (£) of the energy saved to redeem finance. This could provide a cost-effective method of improving your estate.

Finally, for those looking to buy or sell sub-standard properties, MEES introduces an opportunity to discuss the price!


As CIBSE accredited assessors, we are perfectly positioned to support you with EPCs and MEES compliance. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Introducing the GRESB Public Disclosure Score for Listed Real Estate Companies

In January, GRESB released its first public disclosure score (PDS) cards for listed funds. These new ratings are designed to complement the existing assessment and to provide investors with insights that are not fully captured in the standard GRESB reports for listed real estate companies.

The GRESB Public Disclosure Assessment evaluates each participating listed property company’s sustainability information disclosure. The results are communicated by a scorecard. An example is shown below.

The GRESB Disclosure Score is based on an A to E sliding scale (where A is best). Listed participants that score an “A” demonstrate leadership in their approach to environmental, social and governance disclosure, and are characterized by a high degree of transparency on ESG commitments.

The PDS is generated by using responses to a subset of existing GRESB questions that relate to public disclosure of ESG issues.

GRESB states that:

‘ [The PDS] represents a base level of information for about 400 listed property companies globally, and could be utilized for integration into existing data platforms such as Bloomberg and S&P Global Market Intelligence.’

Results published in January 2016 are only available to participants. However, 2017 results will be available to GRESB members who are investors in the relevant funds – in the same way that full GRESB results are available now.

EVORA is a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner and approved Service and Data Provider. In 2016, we provided GRESB support to 44 participant funds. Click here to download a copy of our free GRESB eBook, Survey, Submission, Success!’

For all GRESB support enquiries, please contact us today.


GRESB Premier PartnerAs a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner, we are perfectly positioned to provide GRESB support. View our official Premier Partner profile.

We can work with you to complete the submission and understand your scoring, as well as develop a sustainability plan that will improve your future GRESB performance and align with your organisation’s key environmental objectives.