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Unite Students

We have worked with Unite Students to identify energy
savings measures and ensure compliance with ESOS.

Full reporting and compliance for 138 sites nationwide

Identified approximately £150 million in lifetime savings

Additional preparation for the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards


  • Unite Students is the leading provider of student accommodation in the UK, providing a home for over 46,000 students.
  • Unite’s large building portfolio, consisting of 138 purpose built properties, was included in the scope for ESOS assessments.
  • Unite was already rolling out a series of heating and lighting upgrades so needed to identify additional areas where improvements could be made.
  • In addition to ESOS, Unite wished to mitigate risks from the forthcoming Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations.


  • Sustain and Unite Students undertook a works programme that met the requirements for both ESOS and MEES.
  • A stock-modelling approach was taken, allowing Sustain to refresh the EPCs of Unite’s properties and group them into property archetypes.
  • Detailed site surveys were conducted on each of the five property archetypes.
  • Appropriate measures to improve energy efficiency for each archetype were identified and extrapolated across the whole buildings portfolio.
  • A report was produced clearly outlining how Unite can continue to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.


  • The process identified approximately £150 million in lifetime savings that can be achieved if all the recommended measures are carried out.
  • The methodical approach adopted in obtaining this figure has allowed Unite’s Energy and Environment team to present a robust business case for executive approval, placing carbon and energy savings at the centre of their operational activity.
  • The measures with the largest savings are heating upgrades and heat pumps. Unite are currently trialling air source heat pumps ahead of a wider roll out.
  • Sustain presented Unite Students with a user-friendly stock model including extensive asset level data to allow cost effective re-modelling in future.
  • The work puts Unite in an excellent position to comply with MEES.
Working with Sustain gave us the opportunity to focus on more than just the obvious, large scale energy opportunities and bring in a high level of technical expertise that we simply didn’t have in house. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Sustain and look forward to continuing to work with them on bringing our buildings up to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.- James Tiernan - Energy Manager, Unite Students

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