A staggering number of Newcastle offices face a race against the clock to meet vital 2030 energy targets.
An analysis by property consultancy Knight Frank has found that 87% of the city's offices do not currently meet the A or B performance ratings set out in a plan that must be achieved by 2030.
A minimum EPC rating of B will be mandatory for all commercial premises by 2030.
Just 13% of Newcastle office spaces are already performing at that level.
The targets were set out in the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) by the government last summer.
The problem is nationwide too, with Knight Frank reporting that only 18% of the country's office spaces currently meet the required standard.
Partner at Knight Frank in Newcastle, Patrick Matheson, says a hiatus of new offices being built in Newcastle in recent years has compounded the problem and landlords of older properties face a challenge to bring their offices up to the required standard.
He said: "If an office building does not have at least a ‘B’ energy performance certificate by 2030, it can not be let to an occupier.
“A significant proportion of available office stock in the city is rated ‘C’ or below and a number of offices have already been taken off the market because they are EPC rated ‘F’ or ‘G’, which the government does not allow to be let."
Knight Frank’s Building Consultancy team, led by Partner Ian Tew, is carrying out energy performance improvements for a number of landlords across the North East.
He adds: “2030 may seem like a long way off but surveys to establish exactly how you can boost a building’s energy performance, managing tenancies to allow the work to be carried out and securing finance for the works, all takes time.
"And, of course, if the figures for improvements versus rent levels don’t stack-up then you need a viable exit strategy or an alternative use for your property.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution and typical works can range from minor interventions, such as lighting replacement to fabric upgrades, changing energy source from gas to electric, replacing older inefficient plant with new, and installing energy metering and monitoring of the lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.”