Operational energy consumption in UK commercial properties fell 3.3% in 2018/19 from 2017/18, according to the latest figures from the “in-use” benchmark published by the UK’s Better Building Partnership (BBP).

The Real Estate Environmental Benchmark (REEB) compared operational energy performance between 2017/18 and 2018/19, based on 1,038 UK properties covering 11.7m sqm belonging to 31 of the partnership’s 34 member companies.

The indicator, which reveals actual resource use of buildings rather than the amount they are designed to use, includes information from properties such as offices, retail and industrial parks, shopping centres and leisure parks.

The partnership also reported that over the past nine years, its members had improved the energy intensity of the properties in REEB by 25%.

Sarah Ratcliffe, BBP chief executive, said: “Gathering data on the actual in-use energy performance of commercial assets is the only way for the industry to get to grips with the size of the prize as far as climate change is concerned.”

BBP also said the dataset behind the benchmark continued to grow, with an increase of 8% in property floor area in the past year and a 160% rise in nine years.

Commenting on the value of operational energy data, Louise Ellison, head of sustainability at property firm Hammerson, said: “Our understanding of the operational energy performance of our assets reveals the results of good management and unlocks opportunities for investment in efficiencies.”