The Impact of Energy Labels and Accessibility on Office Rents

Published in Energy Policy
Sustainable Real Estate

Energy consumption in the commercial property sector offers an important opportunity for conserving resources. In this study, we evaluate the financial implications of two elements of “sustainability” – energy efficiency and accessibility – in the market for commercial real estate. An empirical analysis of some 1,100 leasing transactions in the Netherlands over the 2005-2010 period shows that buildings designated as inefficient (with an EU energy performance certificate D or worse) command rental levels that are some 6.5 percent lower as compared to energy efficient, but otherwise similar buildings (labeled A, B or C). Furthermore, this study shows that office buildings in multi-functional areas, with access to public transport and facilities, achieve rental premiums over mono-functional office districts. For policymakers, the results documented in this paper provide an indication on the effectiveness of the EU energy performance certificate as a market signal in the commercial property sector. The findings documented here are also relevant for investors in European office markets, as the importance of energy efficiency and locational diversification is bound to increase following stricter environmental regulation and changing tenant preferences.



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