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Going green does not have to cost the earth

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WITH ESKOM hiking electricity tariffs by 15.63% next month, commercial property owners will need to make changes to how they use electricity.

Rising electricity costs ultimately have an adverse effect on tenant retention, rents and property values in the long run. This is bad news, considering the toll that Covid-19 has already taken on tenants and landlords, says Gregg Huntingford, chief executive of Spire Property Solutions.

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But with some good proactive measures there is a silver lining. “Building owners and landlords need to embrace the green change sweeping the world, as both a pro-active and defensive strategy, and should implement measures within their properties to reduce their electricity consumption.”

Huntingford says going green does not have to be a scary undertaking. People believe this involves massive changes and commitments with costs outweighing the savings but this is “simply not true”.

“Start with small changes, such as switching to energy-saving LED lighting and installing sensors so that lights go off in parts of buildings that are unoccupied. Also, metering everything to understand the power it uses can greatly reduce electricity consumption.”

Other changes include installing solar geysers, hot-water heaters and geyser timers so the geyser is not on when tenants are not in the property.

Ensuring air conditioning systems have good energy ratings and are serviced and maintained will also help reduce electricity use.

“From the tenant’s perspective, a small change that costs nothing, but has a significant impact is to change behaviour – so simply switch lights off if they are not in use.”

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