The monthly update of the Institute for Market Transformation

October 2015
New Report: Green Homes Sell for a Premium in D.C.

Homebuyers are not only increasingly interested in high-performance homes, or homes incorporating green features, but they are also willing to pay more for them, according to a new study released this week by IMT and the District of Columbia's Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).

"What is Green Worth? Unveiling High-Performance Home Premiums in Washington, D.C.," finds that high-performance homes marketed with green features (such as a solar photovoltaic array or LEED certification) sell for a mean premium of 3.46 percent compared to homes without green features.

“This study further emphasizes the value of high-performance homes and showcases that home sellers, realtors, and appraisers who are not factoring in energy efficiency when selling a home are leaving money on the table. This is important not just in the District of Columbia, but across the United States," said IMT's Cliff Majersik. Read more in IMT's press release.

IMT Releases New Resources on Financial Benefits of Green Features in Commercial Buildings

A new primer for lenders and a Washington, D.C. case study showcase the financial benefits of green building features, including their positive impact on building valuation.

As high-performance commercial buildings become commonplace in markets across the U.S., financial institutions are increasingly in need of education and real-world examples of how these buildings’ green characteristics benefit the bottom line and affect their value. Recognizing this, IMT has released two new resources to assist lenders in better understanding the financial benefits of high-performance buildings.

High-Performance Buildings and Property Value: A Primer for Lenders”  was produced in collaboration with the Appraisal Institute and funded by the District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). It breaks down the components of a building’s value and examines best practices for properly incorporating green features and more.

Smart Investments in Energy Efficiency,” is a case study of energy efficiency improvements undertaken at The Portrait Building, an office building in downtown Washington, D.C. Examining three recent energy efficiency improvements made to the building, the case study shows how these measures not only improved the building occupants’ comfort but also provided large benefits to the property’s bottom line, such as adding a potential $11.6 million to the value of the property.

Both the new lender guide and The Portrait Building case study are available for free download at “High-Performance Buildings and Property Value: A Primer for Lenders” can also be found on the Appraisal Institute and DOEE websites at and, respectively. 

*Bonus resources: The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) has just released two reports on the trend towards including energy performance and other "green" considerations in the real estate appraisal process. The first report reviews the history of efforts to address residential properties. The second report explores contemporary applications for non-residential properties.  Both reports describe common barriers to further integration of these considerations into the appraisal practice, and suggest opportunities for policymakers to address these barriers. 

For more information, visit LBNL’s Information Atlas for Appraising Green and High-Performance Buildings.

IMT and ICC Present the 2015 Standard Bearers Awards Winners

From left to right: Dave Epley (DCRA), Bruce Selway (Illinois DCEO), Steven RInehart (Rinehart Real Estate Inspection Service), Ryan Meres (IMT).

On September 29 at the International Code Council’s (ICC) Annual Conference in Long Beach, Calif., IMT and ICC proudly celebrated the winners of the 2015 Standard Bearers Awards for Excellence in Energy Code Compliance.

This year's recipients were:
  • Illinois (Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Energy & Recycling Office)
    State Jurisdiction Winner

  • Washington, D.C. (DCRA)
    Local Jurisdiction Winner

  • Steven E. Rinehart, Harker Heights, Texas
    Energy Code Leader
This year's winners trained more than 6,000 construction industry professionals on energy code compliance and conducting a baseline assessment against the 2009 and 2012 International Energy Conservation Codes (Illinois); created a Green Building and Sustainability Division that provides leadership for the review and inspection of projects built under energy and green codes (Washington, D.C.); and offered a free, ICC-approved “Builders Survival Training Series” for home building association members that demonstrates how to build efficient homes and comply with modern codes. (Steven E. Rinehart, Energy Code Leader), among other accomplishments.

Read more in our press release. and watch the awards presentation on ICC's Youtube channel.

Boston Releases First Energy Benchmarking Report

This month, the City of Boston released its first year of energy metrics for large buildings – including an interactive map for Boston residents to see their building energy and water usage – as part of its energy benchmarking and transparency program. The metrics and findings from that data are available on a new website created by the City. 

This is the first year of public transparency for benchmarking data. More than 1,300 large properties, encompassing over 30 percent of the built space in Boston, are now sharing their energy and water use.

Some key findings from that data include:

  • In the first year, 84 percent of the floor area required to report complied with the ordinance.
  • The properties that reported in 2014 represent approximately 31 percent of all the energy used by buildings in Boston.
  • Buildings of the same type can vary greatly in energy use intensity. Among Boston's large office buildings, for example, the most energy-intensive buildings reported using over 10 times more energy per square foot than the least energy-intensive buildings.
  • On average, older buildings perform well. Office buildings built before 1950 used significantly less energy per square foot on average than those built after 1950.
Visit for more information.

IMT Celebrates Energy Awareness Month

Did you know October was National Energy Awareness Month? If you're like us, you celebrate it every month! Help IMT spread the word on Facebook and Twitter to those who don't by using the hashtags #EnergyAwarenessMonth and #CityEnergyProject, and be sure to include the image below.



San Francisco Benchmarking Results Show Big Savings

A new report released by the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance and the San Francisco Department of the Environment shows a 7.9 percent reduction in energy use from 2010 to 2014 across 176 properties that consistently tracked performance during that period.

A review of a broader group of 817 buildings found that the implementation of energy use reduction measures could save tens of millions of dollars in costs over the lifetime of the projects, adding significantly to the properties’ value.

Read more about San Francisco's energy benchmarking program and results in this Urban Land blog post and download the full report.

Boulder, Colo. Adopts Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

IMT congratulates the Boulder City Council on adopting the Boulder Building Performance Ordinance on October 20. The new law moves beyond current voluntary programs to require actions that reduce energy use and improve the quality of Boulder’s commercial and industrial building stock.

Under the new ordinance, privately-owned commercial and industrial buildings and city-owned buildings will annually measure and report building energy use; perform energy assessments every 10 years; perform retrocommissioning every 10 years and implement cost-effective measures within two years of the study; and implement one-time lighting upgrades.

Read more about the new ordinance on the Boulder Building Performance website.

ACEEE Releases State Energy Efficiency Scorecard

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released the 9th edition of its State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranks states on their policy and program efforts and recommends ways that states can improve their energy efficiency performance in policy areas in which states typically pursue energy efficiency.

The top 10 states for energy efficiency were: Massachusetts, California, Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland, Washington, and New York, with Minnesota and Illinois tied for 10th place. Massachusetts retained the top spot for the fifth consecutive year based on a strong commitment to energy efficiency under its Green Communities Act.

Several states achieved significant improvement over the past year due to commitments to new and more aggressive energy savings targets for utilities, adopting newer building energy codes and improving code compliance, among other efforts.

View the Full 2015 Scorecard Rankings to find out how your state did.

Tenants in Denver Commit to Ask About Energy Efficiency

Launched by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Denver City Energy Project on October 15 at an event attended by about 100 of Denver’s building owners, managers, tenants and energy efficiency businesses, the Lease for Efficiency Challenge asks business tenants to commit to ask about the energy efficiency of a building during the leasing process.

To date, 44 businesses representing nearly 2.5 million square feet of commercial office space in Denver have signed on, pledging to ask about a building’s 1-100 ENERGY STAR score when leasing space.

Read more in IMT's blog, The Current.
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