The traditional Landlord and tenant relationship is normally seen as a ‘them and us’ style relationship. Often there is little beneficial communication between the two sides, and invariably the only contact is around quarter days when rent is due!
However one of the UK’s largest real estate investment trusts (REIT) British Land have recently been trialling automated meter reading systems in some of their multi tenanted buildings with a view to sharing the findings with the tenants. In tandem with energy-saving initiatives, the REIT has introduced a six monthly energy consumption report for its occupiers. This shows each occupier’s use of energy and compares it to the same period in the previous year together with their performance against others in the same building.
Monitoring and good management are key factors in energy savings and the evidence shows what can be achieved with relatively low levels of capital investment, particularly in additional metering. The key finding has been that active and expert management of the building counts. British Land is in effect funding its own version of the government’s green deal, forward funding green capital investment and recovering the outlay at no additional cost to occupiers through guaranteed savings in energy, which are given by the supplier. This enables the landlord to recoup investment costs through an increased service charge on the back of reduced costs for occupiers.
So by helping tenants see what they are using in energy terms the landlord saves them money, makes them more comfortable and reduces his own costs. While at the same time he makes the building more attractive for potential tenants – simple but highly effective!