In various building contexts, opportunities for enhancing energy efficiency exhibit a diverse range, encompassing everything from modifying behaviours to implementing procedural adjustments and undertaking significant capital investments. Asset managers, property managers, and facilities managers, along with occupants, each hold interest and responsibility in distinct types of energy-saving strategies.

Exploring energy efficiency options entails considering multiple facets:

Stage 1: Identifying Efficiency Enhancement Opportunities

Approaching the identification process depends on factors like asset type, data availability, installed technology, and budget constraints. For limited budgets, options include reviewing existing Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM), benchmarking energy usage, and seeking simple plant operation reviews. Alternatively, more extensive reviews could involve Building Management System assessments, sustainability audits, or consultations with Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) consultants.

Stage 2: Prioritising Recommendations

Given the likelihood of multiple recommendations emerging from efficiency reviews, prioritisation becomes crucial. Factors such as implementation ease, cost, payback period, and expected savings should guide this evaluation.

Stage 3: Determining Funding Mechanisms

Deciding on funding sources for capital-intensive recommendations involves assessing factors like payback periods and alignment with corporate sustainability objectives. Options may include asset manager funding, service charge allocations, or governmental grants for specific initiatives.

The UK government offers various incentives for energy-efficient upgrades. These incentives can significantly offset the initial costs of implementing energy-saving measures. Staying informed about these opportunities can help in planning your investment in energy efficiency.

Private –

Public –

Charity –

Stage 4: Implementing Efficiency Enhancements

Identifying and instructing the appropriate parties for executing efficiency improvements is vital. This could entail procuring contractors for capital works or engaging communication and human resource teams for behaviour change initiatives.

Stage 5: Monitoring and Reporting Impact

Monitoring energy data pre- and post-implementation of improvement projects allows for baseline creation and impact assessment, facilitating informed decision-making and stakeholder engagement.

Examples of Energy Efficiency Improvement Opportunities:

A wide array of areas supports energy efficiency endeavours, including:


  • Review existing settings:
    • Review the plant run times to ensure that meet the occupational requirements of the building.
    • Review the dead-bands on the air handling units.
    • Adjust chilled water to run at 7°C flow and 13°C return (an increase of 1°C).
  • Increase the zoning capabilities of the building services.
  • Replace fans with direct drive (no belts).
  • Increase the frequency at which the air filters are changed.
  • Install CO2 sensors to the air handling units so that they can run on demand when required (room mounted sensors are often recommended over duct mounted sensors).
  • Install a smart building system the building operation can be monitored remotely – some systems also allow for settings to be changed remotely.


  • Replace single glazed windows with double or triple glazed windows.
  • Where it is not feasible to replace single glazed windows consider installing secondary glazing.
  • Apply solar control film to windows to reduce solar gain and winter heat loss.
  • If you are carrying out refurbishment works determine whether additional insulation can be installed.
  • Install draught proofing doors between conditioned and un-conditioned spaces.


  • Replace existing lighting with LED or energy efficient lighting.
  • Consider using lower overall ambient light levels, along with task lighting at individual desks.
  • Install PIR sensors to control the lighting.
  • Install daylight sensors to control external lighting.
  • When replacing existing equipment consider energy efficient alternatives.
  • Utilise energy saving features on existing equipment- such as allowing the lights within lifts to turn off when not in use, and for them to run slightly slower.


  • Install AMRs to ensure the data collected is accurate.
  • Ensure there is sufficient sub-metering in place to identify where there are high loads.
  • Install AMR sub-meters where possible.

Behaviour Change

  • Make the energy consumption of the building visible to building occupiers and users- this could be done via a screen display, energy reports, or operational performance certificates.
  • Introduce signage to promote efficient use of the building such as using the stairs rather than the lifts, turning equipment off when not in use and efficient use of space.
  • Trial a gamification project to incentivise occupiers to be energy efficient with their use of the building.


Seek Professional Advice

An energy consultant can provide tailored advice based on your property’s specific needs. They can identify areas for improvement that you might not have considered and suggest the most cost-effective solutions.

Summing Up

Embracing energy efficiency is a win-win for UK businesses. As well as does aligning with the global shift towards sustainability, it also presents a strategic opportunity for cost savings and enhancing property value.

By starting with simple steps, investing in smart upgrades, and leveraging professional advice and government incentives, businesses can substantially improve their commercial property’s energy performance.

Remember, every small step toward energy efficiency is a leap toward a more profitable and sustainable future. At CSR Sustain we offer a wide range of energy management services including TM44 assessments, energy performance certificates (EPC), display energy certificates (DEC) and much more. Contact one of our team to see how we can help.

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