Archive for the 'energy label' Category

Commercial property and labelling

The Dutch parliament showed another case of great inertia on the 27th of June when it decided to withhold support for a proposed law introducing energy labels for commercial and non-commercial property. Inertia is something that hits (Dutch) politics every time an election is looming and following elections during the period in which coalition governments are being negotiated. In all it effectively take 12 – 15% out of the potential time available to parliamentarians to actually do something for the good of the nation.

When it comes to labelling of commercial property the case in favour is fairly straight forward. Labelling makes comparing easier. It saves time and money and focusses the attention of owners, renters and intermediaries. Imagine a board of directors instructing one of their team to hire a new building. They can be very specific about issues such as the location or  the number of square meters per employee. It is on the other hand much more complicated to give instructions regarding the energy efficiency without details knowledge of  what would be energy efficient (and what not). A label would really help in this process.

It is wrong to assume that boards of directors are totally rational and will chose an energy efficient building. They might well be more rational than the average consumer but as a collective they are also prone to the pitfalls of choosing what is easy (i.e. the rent per square meter), what is most convenient (easily accessible from the motorway and therefore cutting time of the daily commute) and what they are expected to say (their peers will judge the exterior of the office not its energy efficiency). Furthermore most boards have a “number bias” and find it easier to discuss actual numbers (prices per sq meter) than vague issues like energy efficiency.

In short – delaying the introduction of energy labels as a compulsory part of a commercial property is a missed opportunity.




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