The TFT Energy Survey 2016, published today by Tuffin Ferraby Taylor (TFT), reports that 80% of commercial property landlords claim a lack of government incentives is the single biggest barrier to widespread energy efficiency measures being introduced across UK commercial real estate.

With a confusing array of disconnected, individual energy regulations, a further 75% have said that the current regulatory framework is too complex to navigate. This follows an overwhelming majority of respondents reporting that attitudes to energy efficiency have improved since the last recession.

TFT Energy Survey 2016 is TFT’s first annual survey into the current barriers to delivering truly energy efficient real estate. Specifically targeting property investors and managers, it explores a range of key issues including whether energy efficiency has become a higher priority.

Mat Lown, partner and head of sustainability for TFT, said: “With the removal of government incentives, combined with the sheer complexity and scale of the myriad pieces of energy regulation and policy statements, we have the perfect storm creating an erosion of confidence in the sector that has become a major barrier to implementing efficiency measures. 60% of investors can see the clear investment potential of energy efficiency projects but, to date, investment has been targeted towards the large-scale projects. We hope that with more mainstream banks beginning to provide funding, smaller-scale projects will be able to attract funding streams.

“Lack of confidence came across strongly among many respondents. The market could benefit from standardised methodology for appraising the viability of projects. Particularly among investors, knowing that the advice they were receiving is truly independent is clearly a high priority.

“Of course, it now remains to be seen exactly how much European legislation will be retained and whether the UK Brexit vote means a more simple approach to energy regulation and policy. The European Union has been instrumental at gently encouraging our government to commit to CO2 reductions as well as setting targets for energy savings and renewable energy generation. What is without doubt is that prolonged uncertainty will begin to impact widespread measures to improve energy efficiency in UK real estate.”