One in six commercial properties could become unlettable without new lighting

One in six commercial properties could be deemed ‘unfit to let’ under new energy performance rules – unless they upgrade to more efficient lighting.

New requirements in the Energy Bill, due to come into effect in 2018, will force commercial properties with energy ratings lower than ‘E’ to be brought up to standard before they are let.

A review of Energy Performance Certificates conducted by engineering consultancy WSP found that, under the new regulations, as much as 17 per cent of the UK’s investment real estate could be unlettable by 2018. Twice as many buildings might be at risk if requirements are changed to affect buildings with ‘E’ and ‘D’ ratings too.

WSP said that upgrading to energy-efficient lighting is the single measure with the biggest effect on a building’s energy performance rating.

David Grandage, associate director as WSP, warned against failing to upgrade commercial buildings. He said: ‘There is a significant threat to commercial property owners that they will lose income if they are not aware of, and do not react to, these changes.'

The Energy Bill passed the House of Commons in June and is currently being considered by the House of Lords.