The monthly update of the Institute for Market Transformation

May 2017

Announcing the 2017 Green Lease Leaders 

On May 15, IMT and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Better Buildings Alliance announced the 2017 Green Lease Leaders at the Better Buildings Summit in Washington, DC.

Eleven innovative companies and a groundbreaking state government were recognized for adding energy and water-saving clauses to their leases that will drive higher performance in their commercial, retail, and industrial buildings. This year's recognized portfolios cover nearly 200 million square feet of floor space in North America, bringing the cumulative floor area of all Green Lease Leaders to over 1.3 billion square feet. 

New this year, IMT and the Better Buildings Alliance recognized California for becoming the first state to make green leasing a statewide policy for government-leased buildings. In addition, Rocky Mountain Institute received the award for signing the first net-zero lease for a multi-tenant development of its size, and the real estate investment trust Welltower became the first Green Lease Leader to work in the healthcare sector. 

IMT estimates that green leases can reduce utility bills by up to $0.51 per square foot (11-22 percent) in U.S. office buildings alone. Download the full report on the potential of green leases here.  

Congrats to our winners: 

Click here for more about the ongoing Green Lease Leaders initiative. 

Learn More: Small Business Energy Initiative 

Energy is a top cost in the small business sector, often ranking behind only labor and rent as a portion of annual expenses. Factoring energy efficiency into everyday operations is critical to cutting energy waste and saving resources. To help small businesses address their energy effectively, IMT and the Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) recently launched the Small Business Energy Initiative.

This U.S. Department of Energy-funded initiative, implemented in partnership with COSE (Ohio), the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce (North Carolina), and the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce (Michigan), will provide free, energy-saving guidance to their small business members, arming them with the resources to save money, improve operations, and bolster sustainability profiles.

Over the course of the three-year initiative, IMT, COSE, and the partner chambers will convene workshops and provide tailored individual energy service options, technical assistance, and financial solutions. COSE, the largest regional small business group in the U.S., enables its members to manage their energy use effectively through building audit programs, green leasing support, and additional programming. 

To find out more about the program, local partners, and upcoming small business resources, click here

Evaluation of U.S. Benchmarking and Transparency Programs 

A new report out of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provides an overview of policy designs, implementation structures, and performance impacts of 24 state and local energy benchmarking and transparency (B&T) policies for privately owned buildings. 

Key takeaways include: 

  • All but one of the B&T policy evaluation studies reviewed indicate some reduction (from 1.6 percent to 14 percent) in energy use, energy costs, or energy intensity over the two- to four-year period of the analyses.
  • Most of the studies reviewed indicate 3 percent to 8 percent reductions in gross energy consumption or energy use intensity over a two- to four-year period of B&T policy implementation.
  • Two additional evaluation studies indicate that there is a causal relationship between B&T policies and energy savings or energy cost savings.
These documented impacts should be reviewed with some caution due to the limited period of analyses. Click here to download the full version of the report, "Evaluation of U.S. Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency Programs: Attributes, Impacts, and Best Practices."

Better Buildings Summit Unites Policy and Business  

IMT participated in the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings Summit held on May 15-17 in Washington, DC. Throughout the conference, IMT experts worked to facilitate connections among the diverse group of participating policymakers and business leaders all interested in building energy efficiency. 

Adam Sledd, Director of Market Engagement, and Audi Banny, Associate Director of Market Engagement, led an industry workshop on financing strategies for retail, food service, and grocery energy projects. The workshop also highlighted opportunities for city governments to support corporate energy projects. IMT Director of Building Energy Performance Policy Julie Hughes spoke on a panel examining how cities can expand their efficiency policies and programs for increased impact. Hughes and her team also facilitated a local government workshop that discussed policy strategies with city and state leaders. 

In addition to IMT's formal speaking roles, summit participants frequently referenced the recent Clean Energy DC plan, the District of Columbia's plan to apply energy policies to achieve its greenhouse gas emission targets while encouraging innovation and resilience. The plan includes Existing Building recommendations drafted by IMT and supported by IMT-led data analysis and stakeholder engagement processes. 

IMT Executive Director Cliff Majersik welcomes Better Buildings Summit attendees to an IMT happy hour. 

IMT also held a happy hour for its partners on May 16. IMT Executive Director Cliff Majersik welcomed attendees, explaining that our organization continues to bring stakeholders together around building efficiency because it's good for business, good for the environment, and good for communities. 

Connect with IMT Next Month

IMT experts regularly engage with policymakers and businesses across the country. Here's where we'll be in June: 

Realcomm 2017
June 14-15 (San Diego, CA)

BOMA International Conference 
June 24-27 (Nashville, TN)
Green Sports Alliance Summit
June 27-29 (Sacramento, CA)

IMT Resource of the Month

Green Lease Leaders understand the long-term benefits of energy efficient buildings. To learn more, check out IMT's Deep Retrofit Value Green Leasing Tool, which helps tenants estimate the business value of sustainable office spaces beyond energy cost savings. 

Cities Boost Efforts to Reduce Energy Waste 

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy released the 2017 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, showing a clear trend of America's largest cities turning to energy efficiency to reduce energy costs and strengthen community resilience. 

Of the 51 cities in the report, 32 improved their scores from 2015 to 2017, often through instituting building energy use transparency, updating building energy codes, and setting community-wide energy-saving goals. 

Boston and New York City, both IMT partners, were the top two U.S. cities for energy efficiency. Find the full results here

Better Buildings Report: Driving Innovation 

The energy-efficiency efforts of 345 leading public and private organizations have produced estimated energy and cost savings of $1.9 billion, according to the 2017 Better Buildings Progress Report released on May 16. 

As Better Buildings Challenge Partners, the 345 organizations have committed to improve the energy intensity of their full building portfolios by at least 20 percent within a decade. Their efforts have produced cost-savings while also contributing to more than 1,000 proven solutions now publicly available online in the Better Buildings Solution Center

Download the full report here to view the 40 partners that have already met the 20 percent energy-saving goal.
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