John Davidson is an energy efficiency guru. He runs Eco-Energi, a firm dedicated to helping commercial landlords solve what could be a big problem. The Government’s Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards mean that a commercial landlord who is renting a commercial property in the UK, where that commercial property is currently rated as an F or G on their Energy Performance Certificate, cannot re-let the property until it meets a minimum standard.
Therefore, energy efficiency is vital to our economy. John discusses how he can help and the problems faced by commercial landlords on Episode 152 of The Next 100 Days podcast.
Eco-energi, yes, this is the correct spelling, is John’s business based in Sunningdale, Berkshire. It deals with all things energy efficiency. This includes reducing people’s bills in gas and electricity.
They produce Energy Performance Certificates for businesses. every property rented of sold, both commercially or residentially, must have. The UK is one of the worst in Europe for energy efficiency. Our homes are older and leak the energy we put into them.
So, there has to be billions spent to bring all properties up to standard.
For 21 years, John ran a nation-wide safety inspection business in the private rental sector. In its latter years, the idea for Eco_energi arose. John sold that business 2 years ago.
And yes, it was a very successful business. They were visiting 80,000 rented properties up and down the country.
As there is so much focus on reducing bills and energy, John is now focused on efficiency. John is a leading lights in this whole area.
Turning Buildings into Power Stations
This is a commercial property proposition. We are all locked into year on year energy price hikes. They NEVER come down, have you noticed? On average over recent times they have increased by between 7 and 10%.
So whatever bill YOU have today, it will double in 10 years time. And again, in another 10 years.
John advises you to be not be so reliant on energy from the grid. From mainstream suppliers. He advocates ‘grow your own’, with solar panels on your commercial property roof. Why? Because it will reduce your energy costs dramatically.
Consequently, commercial landlords do HAVE choices. And you may not be aware of this.
How Does this Work?
Compare Energy Costs
Commercial Landlords may be aware of MEES. This provides regulations on how to comply. You cannot issue a new lease if you are an F or G. A solar system could be the answer.
As such, for some commercial landlords, the cost of complying could be £20-30k. A Solar PPA could be a brilliant way of swerving this upgrade costs. Not cost to the commercial landlords. And your tenants get lower electricity bills for the next 25 years.
If you do nothing, you will be paying the high line (or your cost equivalent of it) and if you ACT NOW, you can dial in long terms savings with a SOLAR Power Purchase Agreement.
Here are a few things to consider:
– Have you got an Energy Performance Certificate for the building?
– Are there any trees in the way.
– What is the orientation of the building – does it have a south or south east or south west facing roof?
– Is the roof made of asbestos?
Following a survey, Eco-energi would cost a proposal. Today, your cost per unit of electricity is 13/14p per unit to Power or EON, whereas the cost for Solar would be 10.5p/11.5p. That stays like that, plus inflation going forward.
If you are thinking about how storage will be a big thing in the future of renewables. Then listen to our episode 150, with Nick Dimmock of 350PPM.
Notably, storage in domestic premises is dominated by batteries. The PPA model does not fund battery storage yet.
IF YOU ARE AN INVESTOR – You can get involved directly, see John’s recent letter to local investors below.
Why wouldn’t you do it?
There are criteria. If your building is being re-developed. Has the owner got a poor credit rating. MEES obligations only happened in April 2018. Landlords often do not know what is options are.
MEES – minimum energy efficiency standards. Any building with energy performance less than E cannot be re-let. If you are your own tenant. Exempt? MEES applies to renewed or leased. So, no.
In the Next 100 Days?
Get your property examined now. Eco-energi will provide you a proposal. Could a system be in place within the next 100 days? Yes. The installations can start within a month of engagement.
If you have a suitable property. Beat a hot path to Eco-energi’s door. John plans to be more aggressive with PR, marketing, sales.
A lot of the issue is ignorance. Landlords do not appreciate what can be done.
Do it for Corporate Social Responsibility Reasons
Park the idea of saving money on electricity. From a CSR point of view, you will become more relevant to your customers. Maybe you’ll become more relevant to larger companies who insist on you being CSR compliant.
The Solar PPA is also liked by councils and public bodies.