Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by renovating buildings and infrastructure in yield-producing properties. Facilities are also operated in a way which optimises energy as much as possible. By adopting this approach, Allreal is ensuring that the people inside the rented spaces are adequately comfortable whilst guaranteeing that the buildings are energy-efficient. For new-build projects, especially those it develops in-house, Allreal applies high standards (such as Minergie-P) and uses future-oriented technologies.
There are three main drivers for energy consumption:
As a significant proportion of the energy is required to heat the buildings, the environmental conditions during winter have a direct effect on consumption. The majority of changes in energy consumption are directly dependent on the accumulation of heating degree days.
Building operation and user behaviour
In addition to basic energy consumption, the occupancy of a rental space is primarily relevant to consumption. Generally speaking, this cannot be directly influenced by the building owner.
The buildings and related infrastructure are upgraded according to the respective age of construction or renovation. As a rule, newer buildings account for lower specific energy consumption than older buildings. This is where the largest potential lies for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Through major periodic refurbishments, the building materials and infrastructure in the portfolio properties are continuously modernised and adapted to the latest technology.
The reported energy consumption covers all yield-producing properties which were owned by Allreal in the financial year up to 31 December. Buildings which were not rented out during the reporting period owing to complete renovations or refurbishments are not included. If properties were transferred to the portfolio of yield-producing properties during the accounting period, these are included in the energy balance for the first time if consumption data is available for an entire billing period. As such, it may be that the number of properties with an energy evaluation is lower than the number of properties reported in the annual report.
In the 2020 financial year, these were 20 residential properties and 39 commercial properties with a total of 768,693 square metres of rentable space. The total has increased by 40,371 square metres compared to the previous year, with two more residential properties and one more commercial property having been added.
The overall energy consumption dropped by 2.3% to 66.02 gigawatt hours in total despite the fact that the rentable space increased by 4.8%. Furthermore, the proportion of energy provided by heating oil has been reduced further to 6.4%.
Allreal managed to cut back on the use of district heating by some considerable margin in the 2020 financial year – mainly by making good use of waste heat from the cooling systems at one of its largest yield-producing properties. This equates to a saving of 2.32 gigawatt hours or 10% compared to the previous year.
The energy consumption per square metre of rentable space within Allreal’s yield-producing property portfolio has been steadily decreasing since 2015. And this trend is continuing despite the vacancy rate reaching a new record low of 1.4% during the year under review. The energy intensity came in at 90 KWh/m2 in 2020, compared to 92.2 KWh/m2 in the previous year.
Energy consumption contains the following components:
- Primary energy demand for room heating and electrical energy for heat pump systems
- Electrical energy used in the common areas and in general infrastructure, such as stairwells, corridors, lifts, refrigeration equipment and ventilation systems
The consumption of electrical energy inside the rented spaces is not taken into account. Tenants obtain this energy directly from suppliers.
Allreal is now also working to improve the quality of the electrical energy it purchases from third parties. The proportion of electricity produced by hydropower in Switzerland was 99.9% in the yearunder review. That equates to around 15,466,870 kilowatt hours. The remaining 0.1% of electricity is produced by solar power and waste incineration. Allreal does not rely on any electricity produced using fossil fuels or nuclear power.
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions were recorded in line with the recommendations of “Life Cycle Assessment Data in the Construction Sector 2009/1:2016” from KBOB/eco-bau/IPB. This defines key figures for various energy sources – such as natural gas, heating oil, district heating and electricity – which take into account energy production, as well as distribution and provision.
All of the energy sources that supply the buildings in Allreal's portfolio are purchased from third parties. Allreal neither owns nor manages its own energy production plants, such as cogeneration plants, and therefore does not cause any direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The indirect energy-related greenhouse gas emissions refer exclusively to the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). Other gases relevant to the greenhouse effect are not accounted for.
The amount of CO2 emissions is calculated as a CO2 equivalent based on the energy sources and the allocated key figures. The reporting and establishment of key figures is carried out in the same way as for reported energy consumption.
As no other relevant gases aside from CO2 are emitted, it is not necessary to consider the global warming potential (GWP) and its effects over a period of 100 years. Reporting is carried out exclusively using the Allreal portfolio under review, and does not contain any traded GHG emissions or any other indirect GHG emissions.