The DOE has found that last year commercial and industrial buildings used approximately 50% of the energy of the United States economy at an estimated cost of $400 billion. Though energy demand has been growing, market potential has been slow to realize, largely due to building owners, property managers and tenants’ lack of awareness of financing options. Reservations regarding upfront costs, the expense of new construction and deep retrofits, as well as the lack of infrastructure support hinder adoption. In order to achieve more widespread implementation of energy efficient techniques, changing the behavior of commercial building owners and managers is paramount.
Providing consumers with information and demonstrable data is one way to help achieve behavioral change. Organizations such as the Environmental Defense Fund’s Investor Confidence Project and the Clean Energy Finance Center have launched an Energy and Loan Performance Data program to collect and analyze public data from utilities and agencies. This data will provide the tools to understand energy use variations and preferences in buildings and eventually promote energy efficiency lending in capital markets. Efforts such as this will help to expand energy efficiency efforts in the C&I market by demonstrating that the energy saving projections are viable.
Financial incentives also aid greatly in moving forward consumer willingness. Whether it is federal and state governments’ incentives in the form of tax credits, or utilities offering rebates, such programs will provide financial support and ease consumer reservations towards sustainable retrofits or constructions. Policy makers, builders, manufacturers, and suppliers will in turn respond to consumer changes, resulting in increased energy efficiency demands in the C&I markets. In addition to these practices, this roundtable will explore other technological innovations and incentive programs that will play a key role in transforming the C&I energy efficiency market.
What are the emerging technologies that will bring energy efficiency to the forefront of the industry?
Will data collection programs make a large impact on the industry?
What financing incentive and rebate programs are available? Are they successful? Ex. NYSERDA’s Energy Star Program
How do we educate the property and building owners about ROI when introducing energy efficient measures?
What loan options currently exist in the market?
What qualifications must participants meet in order to be eligible for certain programs? How long is the application process? How long is a typical payback period?
What are the pros and cons of each financial model? OBR, PACE, ESA
Are green leases an advisable option?
What federal and state tax incentives are available for green design?
What is the future of the federal tax incentive for commercial building energy efficiency- EP Act 179D?
What other feasible incentive programs can be adopted?