The Not-So-New Next Big Thing: Retrofits

For several years, NBI has been exploring and researching strategies to drive deep energy savings across the existing commercial building sector. As we’ve noted before, there are upwards of 71.6 billion square feet of commercial space across the U.S. and significant energy savings potential to go with that. It’s certainly a wise energy investment. Earlier this year, a report released by Deutsche Bank’s DB Climate Change Advisors and The Rockefeller Foundation asserted that an investment of $279 billion to simply upgrade and replace energy-consuming equipment in U.S. buildings could yield $1 trillion or more of energy savings over 10 years. That’s a 258 percent gain (on the principal) just for equipment upgrades and replacement. This week, Michael C. Polentz and Clayton B. Gantz of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips published a list of 10 reasons why commercial building retrofits will be the next big thing. While we might rearrange the order of their list, they make some good points noting energy performance disclosures (and new California legislation around that) and the rise of LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EB O&M) as the fastest-growing LEED rating system over the past two years. The top of their list is dominated by the growing number of financing tools and structures–from tax credits and power purchase agreements to green leases–that will support these energy-saving investments.Read the complete list and full article in Environmental Leader.