As energy purchases by companies are generally not covered by the tariff shield, they bear the brunt of the explosion in prices due to the war in Ukraine and the shutdown of part of the nuclear fleet. French.
“Since it flared up, there has been a very marked awareness,” reports Eric Donnet, CEO of Groupama Immobilier.
At SIMI, like his colleagues, he wears a burgundy down jacket, offered to group employees to encourage them to work in offices heated to 19 degrees, the national set temperature.
And he lists the actions implemented by the subsidiary of the insurer, which manages several office buildings in Paris: reduction of canteen hours, presence detectors to limit lighting...
"Creative on solutions"
“We have had a multiplication of energy costs between 4 and 10 over the last few months”, underlines Ella Etienne-Denoy, ESG director (environmental, social and governance criteria) at the corporate real estate giant CBRE .
"The government's call for sobriety, relayed by the Medef, has played on the fact that user companies feel an urgency to act on the issue of energy savings, because they have been told that what previously was insignificant on the cost was going to become particularly significant", she explains.
She observes, for example, more requests for on-site energy production, with solar panels or shallow geothermal energy.
"When it starts to become a constraint, we start to become creative again on the solutions", she notes.
Other real estate companies, such as BNP Paribas Real Estate, have opted for the integration of artificial intelligence in the technical management of buildings, in order to gain in efficiency.
The subsidiary of the French bank also uses the Ecowatt system, set up by the operator of the RTE electricity network, which warns of moments of tension. If the signal turns orange or red, it is possible to automatically deactivate non-essential features: sports halls, certain elevators, etc.
"Crises hurt in the short term, but in the long term are very beneficial," said the group's director of property management, Csongor Csukas.
And there are more and more companies asking for it.
"The tenants who, until now, were interested in the question did so either because it already represented a large item of expenditure for them, or because they had an environmental streak. There, all types of tenants combined are seriously taking an interest in it", testifies Vincent Bryant, president of Deepki, a technology company specializing in the energy transition of business real estate.
“Companies have all responded to this call for sobriety, but I think that more than a movement of obedience, it is rather a concern about the cost”, estimates Odile Batsere, CSR director (corporate social responsibility) of the property company Société de la Tour Eiffel.
This is particularly true for SMEs, which have less anticipated regulatory changes than large groups.
The tertiary decree, published in 2019, requires companies to have reduced their energy consumption by 40% in 2030 compared to 2010 in their offices of more than 1.000 m2; then 50% in 2040 and 60% in 2050. And as of this year, they must declare their energy consumption data.
“When we indicated, at the end of the summer, that the tenants had the responsibility of declaring the consumption on their private portions themselves, there was panic”, recalls Anne-Claire Barberi, CSR director of the manager of Perial real estate assets.
For building owners, the stakes are also financial: inaction risks making offices less attractive and therefore causing them to lose their value.
And "if a user is in an office where he has a crazy bill", notes Ella Etienne-Denoy, "it also precipitates moving decisions".