Sunday, 7 June 2009

Lacking green incentives

The British property sector has been called upon to limit carbon emissions from offices, shops and factories, in the spirit of sustainable development. However, despite Government policies to implement such limits, The British Property Federation (BPF) said that there is not enough incentive to make greener buildings a reality...
In the property sector, roughly half of the carbon emissions come from the commercial segment. The BPF estimates that this area of property should in theory be the easiest to reduce carbon emissions, but the Government is not doing enough to encourage landlords to tackle the problem.
Greater energy efficiency in buildings require a substantial upfront cost to landlords, with little tangible benefit to themselves.
To remedy this, Liz Peace, the Chief Executive of BPF, suggested that the tax system be considered. She said, "The Government should explore how the tax system might be used to actively incentivise improvements."
For such a scheme to work however, landlords and tenants will have to work together, sharing the mutual costs and benefits of an incentive scheme.
The BPF said that a further problem is current certification system in place to monitor energy efficiency. Energy performance certificates only provide theoretical data on building design, without measuring energy use. Instead, the BPF suggested utilising display energy certificates (DECs) that measure operational energy performance for both the public and private sectors.
The federation suggested that the only way to reach the Government's aim of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by the year 2050, is to provide landlords and tenants with incentives to work together, and by expanding the energy performance certificate system.

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