Energy consumption and other utility bills data collection in resi units extremely poor
Energy consumption and other utility bills data collection in resi units extremely poor

Energy consumption and other utility bills data collection in resi units extremely poor

Pressure is increasing for accurate consumption data in buildings
RE+D magazine

Gathering comprehensive data on energy consumption and other utility bills is becoming a major challenge at a time when investors and company executives demand clear updates on ESG issues.

Not surprisingly, few tenants are reluctant to sign leases that require them to share their data. And this is because they question the immediate benefit for themselves, as well as the reasoning behind the additional bureaucracy. This friction highlights the bitter truth: while property owners depend on complete and accurate information, tenants have little incentive to provide it.

At the same time, investors appear to be increasingly focusing on detailed ESG information to inform their decisions. Given that leased space is estimated to account for approximately 80% of building use, information on tenant energy costs represents a significant blind spot. However, cooperation between the two sides is necessary to better manage consumption and increase energy efficiency, with the ultimate goal of achieving net zero emissions, which will benefit all stakeholders.

The tenants' dilemma is becoming more pressing as regulatory requirements for benchmarking and disclosure of sustainability data become more stringent, with regional policies - such as those of the EU - mandating regular audits and increasing energy consumption requirements for buildings. Performance standards inevitably increase the need for integrated data in utilities across Europe. As regulations tighten, tenant engagement and advanced metering will be critical for landlords in all countries to meet mandatory transparency requirements.

But retrieving detailed consumption information requires the active participation of tenants. This is an added burden that tenants, who often worry that landlords will misuse the information to raise rent or cancel active leases, are not usually willing to take on, especially with no obvious benefit to them.

Therefore, communicating the mutual benefits arising from energy initiatives is crucial. With transparent consumption information, tenants can better manage their own consumption, while efficiency upgrades are proven to lead to reduced operating costs.

In this endeavour, technology can provide essential support. Smart individual metering is a technological breakthrough that provides detailed monitoring of consumption in real time. By having access to this information, through a neutral intermediary - the provider of the service in question -, tenants can adjust their habits and owners gain critical data to optimize the sustainability ranking of their assets, while respecting the tenant's autonomy .

As institutional frameworks continue to promote and push for net zero goals and ESG standards become increasingly stringent, intensifying efforts to bridge interests between landlords and tenants can be the competitive advantage among real estate companies.