Why it matters
…to Building Owners and Operators. A building’s energy and systems performance affects the entire ecosystem within commercial buildings. Building owners recognize that increasing transparency around energy performance influences prospective tenants, as well as buyers. The positive correlation between “green” buildings and higher occupancy, rent premiums and asset value is becoming better understood and validated. Operators understand the challenge of maintaining building systems and energy performance to ensure occupant comfort. In many cases,
...to Occupants. Energy costs find their way to occupants, one way or another. Often, building performance matters most to occupants because of thermal comfort, and its impact on employee productivity and customer experience. While occupants have the most to gain from energy efficiency, they often have limited power to implement changes. Visibility into a building’s energy performance is sometimes enough to induce action on their part.
…to Utilities and Grid Operators. For every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity consumed in a commercial building, more than 2 kWh have to be produced, due to production, transmission and distribution losses. For that reason, Energy efficiency has been established as the highest priority for many utilities. While demand response has gained notoriety for curtailing peak loads, energy efficiency and conservation offer permanent load shedding—that is, changing a building’s load shape so there is a new, lower peak.
…to the Planet. The production of electricity for commercial buildings is a significant contributor of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). More than 45% of electricity production in the U.S. (41% worldwide) comes from coal plants—the worst offender of carbon emissions on the supply-side. In the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire, Amory Lovins contends that the cost of externalities from electricity production—mostly coal-fired plants—is two to three times the $135 Billion we spend on electricity in the U.S. alone. Air pollution is accountable for roughly half of those hidden costs.