Navigating Energy Rates for Commercial Properties

As the world grapples with the challenges of increasing prices for energy and climate change, the importance of sustainable energy practices has never been more apparent. For commercial property owners and operators in the UK, navigating energy rates can be a complex and daunting task. Understanding the intricacies of energy pricing, efficiency measures, and regulatory requirements is crucial to both reducing costs and contributing to a greener future.

In this blog, I will provide a comprehensive guide to help commercial property owners navigate energy rates and optimise their energy usage in accordance with UK laws and regulations.

Understanding Energy Rates – Unit Rates and Standing Charge

Commercial property owners must understand the structure of energy rates in order to get the best deal. Energy costs are typically comprised of two main components: the unit rate and the standing charge. The unit rate refers to the price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy consumed, while the standing charge is a fixed daily fee covering administrative costs. It is essential to compare and negotiate these rates with multiple energy suppliers to find the most cost-effective solution for your property.

Evaluating Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is a key consideration for commercial property owners seeking to reduce their energy costs. Conducting an energy audit can help identify areas where energy is being wasted or where improvements can be made. By implementing energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting, smart heating and cooling systems, and insulation, property owners can significantly reduce their energy consumption and, subsequently, their energy bills.

Renewable Energy Options

The UK government has set ambitious targets to transition to renewable energy sources. Commercial property owners can take advantage of this by exploring renewable energy options, such as solar panels or wind turbines. Generating renewable energy on-site not only reduces reliance on the grid but can also provide opportunities for income generation through feed-in tariffs and the sale of excess energy back to the grid.

Understanding Regulatory Requirements

Commercial property owners must be familiar with the regulatory framework governing energy usage in the UK. The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement for all commercial properties and provides an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). It is crucial to ensure that your property meets the minimum energy efficiency standards outlined by the government, as failure to comply can result in penalties and restrictions on leasing or selling the property.

Utilising Energy Management Systems

Implementing energy management systems (EMS) can provide commercial property owners with real-time insights into their energy consumption, allowing them to identify patterns and make informed decisions. EMS can monitor energy usage, track costs, and identify areas for improvement. By utilising such systems, property owners can proactively manage their energy consumption, reduce waste, and optimise energy usage.

Engaging with Energy Consultants

Engaging with energy consultants or specialised solicitors can provide invaluable expertise and guidance. These professionals can assist with energy procurement, auditing, compliance, and sustainable energy planning. Their expertise can help commercial property owners make informed decisions, negotiate favourable energy contracts, and identify long-term cost-saving opportunities.

Understanding the intricacies of energy pricing, evaluating energy efficiency measures, and complying with regulatory requirements are crucial steps in optimising energy usage and reducing costs. Through these measures, commercial property owners can navigate the complex energy landscape and secure a more sustainable and cost-effective future for their properties.

To discuss this, or any other related matter with Tamzin directly, please call us, start a live chat or email us at

*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


Tamzin Mandelli

Partner, Commercial Property

Prior to joining Hart Brown, Tamzin had worked for a local authority and for both regional and national firms. Tamzin is a Partner with over...

Partner, Commercial Property

Tamzin Mandelli

Prior to joining Hart Brown, Tamzin had worked for a local authority and for both regional and national firms.

Tamzin is a Partner with over 23 years' experience and she is based at our Woking office. Tamzin specialises in all aspects of commercial property including the sale and purchase of shops, offices and restaurants, landlord and tenant matters (from granting the new lease, through to the various licences for works, transfers and so on) and dealing with the eventual termination of a lease. She is also experienced at dealing with development work including option agreements and acquisitions.

Hart Brown is recognised in the Legal 500 2024 edition for real estate work in the South East and the entry states “With substantial experience in sales and purchases of properties, landlord and tenant matters and development agreements, Tamzin Mandelli 'provides a high level of service’ and ‘is able to deliver what is needed’.”

What do Tamzin's clients say about her?

"We have just worked on a commercial transaction together, which was by far the most challenging case I have dealt with (for a variety of reasons). Tamzin was extremely efficient and salvaged the transaction multiple times... I highly recommend her!"

“Thank you very much for all of your help and support. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and hope to do so again in the future!”

"...thank you for your support with X, it's been good fun. Wish you were handling a commercial purchase for me! … lesson learnt, will place with you next time!"

“The service I received was efficient, professional and the members I dealt with both past and present have been helpful…and very personable.”