Bristol team pioneering green energy programme for UK commercial properties

Bristol is leading the way developing sustainable energy programmes for commercial properties thanks to initiatives being developed by specialists at Colliers International’s Broad Quay office.

Headed up by Mike Bull from the company’s Investment Property Management division, the team’s recent framework agreement for the delivery of green energy across their managed portfolio builds on works undertaken to deliver 0 per cent waste to landfill.

The IPM team has signed a framework agreement for the procurement of electricity which means that all power requirements sourced through the framework comes from 100 per cent green energy sources.

Commenting on the breakthrough, Mike Bull said: “This was achieved at no extra cost to our clients or their tenants as the slight increase in price for Green Energy was offset by the saving in Climate Change Levy – which is not payable on Green Energy.

“In addition, we managed to secure a 12 month fixed price for energy across the national portfolio that has resulted in prices being retained at those agreed in September 2012. This is despite a 9.7 per cent wholesale energy price increase in the same period.

“It’s not just Green Energy, which has been available for some time, but the negotiation of the framework agreement that allows us to place our whole portfolio into Green Energy supplies at no additional cost over Brown Energy.”

As well as heading up the IPM Team in Bristol Mike Bull also leads the company’s National Sustainability Team.

“This means we can run initiatives such as this in Bristol and then roll them out to the rest of the UK.

“This is in line with the progressive nature of business in Bristol, the broader engagement with issues around sustainability we see around us in Bristol, and the willingness of the Bristol business community to embrace new ideas and get on with the job in hand. We feel that we’re reflecting what’s great about Bristol.”

Mike Bull said the measures were being applied consistently across the portfolio.

“We’re not simply talking about sustainability, or applying it to ‘flagship’ buildings, but introducing measures across our entire managed portfolio which really make a difference in terms of energy efficiency, and reduce running costs and carbon footprints.”

Not all properties and clients fall within the framework yet but as existing supply contracts expire they will be put into the framework as long as the offering by the supplier is sufficiently competitive.

“The beauty of this framework is that it allows us to deliver the option of Green Energy at the most competitive price – and then consult with our clients as to their preference regarding sourcing and supply.

“Essentially, this means that our default position is to provide a quote for Green Energy at an extremely competitive price.”

He went on: “We can’t force our clients to prioritise sustainability – especially in difficult economic circumstances – but we can make it as easy as possible for them to do so and we’ve demonstrated that Green Energy needn’t break the bank. This builds on the aims of the Colliers Green Standard – to make sustainability an integral part of our role in Property Management, not a bolt on.”

The agreement includes free provision of Automatic Monitoring & Reading (AMR) meters across the entire portfolio, allowing the Colliers International team to monitor consumption remotely to ensure accurate manual meter readings, but also to demonstrate how the measures they’ve put in place at buildings really impact upon consumption.

The framework agreement was arranged by Colliers International’s energy procurement broker of choice, Zero Trace Procurement, which has been appointed to place Gas and Electricity contracts across the portfolio.

‘Trace’ software provided by Zero Trace Procurement across the entire managed portfolio provides for contract monitoring, utility invoice review and approval, and the collection of data about consumption into a single database.

Mike Bull concluded: “Delivery of green energy, a commitment to accurate data collection across our managed portfolio and our promise of 0 per cent waste to landfill, where facilities are available, are all examples of how we are making it as easy as possible for our clients and their tenants to be as sustainable as possible. The data we collect helps us to demonstrate the impact on energy consumption of the measures we’ve introduced and so provide accurate data for the preparation of EPC’s – and with investors and occupiers alike waking up to the implications of the Energy Act 2011 this is more important than ever.”

“This reflects our ethos of delivering measurable results that are demonstrably making the difference to our clients, their tenants and the environment.”

Joe Warren from ZTP said: “It has been fantastic to work with Colliers International as they are taking their commitments to sustainability very seriously. They have made it very clear that green energy and energy monitoring are important but it must also be delivered at cost neutral pricing for their clients.”