There have been big strides made recently in efficiency in HVAC and lighting. What do you see as the next area that offers the potential for improved energy efficiency?
Tenant spaces typically account for 50-70 percent of a building’s overall energy use, and building owners who effectively engage with tenants to build out and operate energy-efficient leased space will improve the building’s overall energy performance and comfort while both sides can benefit financially. Office equipment plug loads are the primary energy driver in leased space and managing these ‘phantom loads’ through outlet switches and computer energy management software can be cost-effective strategies.
NRDC’s High-Performance Tenant Demonstration Project is focused on energy use in leased commercial space, and the economic benefits of building owner and tenant collaboration, and the projects are realizing strong returns of 25 percent IRR and payback periods well under 5 years.
Answers provided by Wendy Fok, project director, High-Performance Demonstration Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Center for Market Innovation.