News, Retail

LEDs could transform energy performance of shopping malls

One of the UK’s biggest shopping mall owners says the growing use of LEDs in retail fit-outs represents a ‘game-changing’ opportunity.

Speaking at a British Property Federation breakfast event in London last week, Nina Reid, director of responsible property at fund manager M&G Real Estate, said that energy savings from all-LED lighting at the fit-out stage were so significant that they make any previously calculated energy performance rating for the property irrelevant.

Reid advocated more collaboration between property owners and retailers to ensure that energy-efficient lighting was used in stores.

While full implementation of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) is not expected until 2023, impending legislation is expected to make it unlawful to let residential or commercial properties with the lowest EPC ratings of F or G from 2018. As a result, M&G has identified 2018 as ‘a risk date’ for green leases and landlord responsibilities, Reid said.

‘The large retail chains have already begun to implement LED installations, but there is more education to do with independents,’ she said. ‘Certainly we believe that there is scope for more collaboration between owner and retailer and I suspect we will see much more of this as the deadlines get closer.’

British Retail Consortium energy policy advisor Andy Bolitho also backed the increased use of LEDs within stores. ‘We can clearly see that in-store LEDs help increase sales and reduce staff sick days,’ he said. ‘And they do that using 50 per cent of the energy [of traditional lamps], so there is a huge opportunity here. What we need to work on now is ensuring that the data we measure and collect is accurate in terms of encouraging green leases. That why we see leading retailers like Marks & Spencer, which has created its own processes, insist on using its own data.’

Bolitho said that energy efficiency levels had not yet had any impact on access to funding for store refurbishments, but speculated that this may become more of an issue as 2018 approaches.

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