Buildings are responsible for around 40 per cent of the UK's carbon emissions, with business properties accounting for around half of that.
There are plenty of simple, low-cost measures you can take to cut energy use within your buildings and lower CO2 emissions. These include installing movement-sensitive light sensors in toilets and other little-used areas and turning down the thermostat by a couple of degrees. See our guide on how to save money by using energy more efficiently.
There may be additional things you can do - such as installing double-glazing and improving roof insulation - to help make buildings more airtight. Find guidelines on the energy performance of buildings.
Energy efficient building regulations
If you are having new premises built, or you are making structural changes to your existing premises, you must make sure they meet the requirements of Part F of the Building Regulations. Read about the conservation of fuel and power under building regulations.
All commercial buildings require an energy performance certificate (EPC) when they are bought, let or sold. An EPC indicates how energy efficient a building and its services are. An EPC also contains recommendations for cost-effective changes that can be made to improve the building's energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions. See our guide on energy performance of buildings duties: an overview.
You must make sure you comply with the requirements of the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. These include getting your air-conditioning systems regularly inspected and obtaining an energy performance certificate when you construct, sell or rent buildings.
You may be eligible for a number of tax breaks if you introduce energy efficiency measures. See the page in this guide on tax breaks to encourage energy efficiency.