Energy consumption in commercial properties throughout Ireland is rising, with retail showing the biggest increase, according to the latest Savills-Pinergy Energy Monitor.

The study, which is a joint initiative between property advisor, Savills and smart energy company, Pinergy, revealed that, between March and May, energy consumption in Ireland’s retail sector dropped to 57% of 2019 levels. However, in June, the figure rose to 86%, as COVID-19 restrictions were eased, and it is expected to continue increasing as more retailers re-open.

The study also revealed that energy consumption amongst office occupiers rebounded from 53% between March and May, to 74% in June of 2019 levels. However, according to Savills and Pinergy, this figure is unlikely to rise further until social distancing measures are relaxed, as a large proportion of office-based employees continue to work from home.

Energy consumption in the hospitality sector, comprising hotels, pubs and restaurants, increased to 54% at the end of June, and this figure is expected to increase with many holidaymakers planning ‘staycations’ over the summer months.

Elsewhere, energy consumption in the professional, science and technology sectors was at 79% of 2019 levels in June, while agriculture – an essential service – rose from 87% to 97% of 2019 levels in the last month. Meanwhile, the health and leisure sector has seen a small decline, from 50% to 46% – with many health & leisure operators having experienced lower consumer demand or being unable to open.

Peter Bastable, Director at Pinergy commented on the study. “The last months have been challenging for many Irish businesses as evidenced by their demand for energy. We expect that demand for energy will continue to increase as many businesses & properties begin to reopen & restrictions are further eased. However, social distancing restrictions will continue to impact on some commercial properties like offices leading to lower levels of energy consumption than we saw in 2019.”

Sharyn McAndrew, Head of Energy & Sustainability at Savills Ireland commented:

“Unsurprisingly, the retail sector has rebounded strongly in terms of energy consumption, and we hope to see this continue. It’s also positive to see an increase in other sectors, but I suspect it will be some time before we see a return to pre-COVID consumption levels.”