Save Energy and Reduce Costs
Understanding a building's energy use is the first step towards making informed decisions about energy-saving improvements that reduce costs and can impress current or potential tenants or buyers.
- For individual buildings, periodically review the building's energy performance to look for changes. A spike in energy use may signal that equipment, such as a large heating unit or pool pump, may be malfunctioning. An energy auditor can help identify the problem and/or suggest operations and maintenance changes that will lead to savings.
- For multiple buildings, compare the energy use of all buildings and identify assets with the greatest potential for cost savings and investment return. Commercial buildings with an ENERGY STAR score can be compared to other similar buildings and work towards achieving the ENERGY STAR label. A national study by the CoStar Group, found that rental rates in ENERGY STAR-rated buildings command a $2.40 per square foot premium over similar buildings and have 3.6% higher occupancy rates.
- Apartment and condo owners and managers can demonstrate their property's progress towards becoming more environmentally-friendly. A recent Apartments.com survey found that half of renters said they would take an apartment community's commitment to environmental issues into consideration when deciding to rent.
Utility Rebates and Assistance
- Seattle City Light (SCL): SCL's Multifamily Program offers property rebates on lighting, windows, and heating, ventilation and cooling updates (HVAC). For in-unit/apartments, they offer free compact fluorescent light bulbs, showerheads and faucet aerators, and refrigerator replacement rebates.
- SCL's Energy Smart Services for commercial customers offers financial incentives and technical assistance for both existing facilities and new construction. Visit the links or call an Energy Advisor at 206-684-3800.
- Puget Sound Energy: Visit the Get Re-Energized! website to learn about rebates and assistance, or call an Energy Advisor at 800-562-1482.
- Seattle Steam: Visit the Seattle Steam website or call 206-623-6366 to learn how it helps customers benchmark and increase their buildings energy efficiency.
Resources for Improving Building Energy Efficiency
- Building Energy Efficiency Checklist: Start with this checklist from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) to uncover many low and no cost tips for occupants and managers.
- NEEA BetterBricks: Use this tool matrix (MS Excel Format) to find practices that can help achieve more efficient, lower cost, building operations. The Building Night Walk video series provides real-world examples of common issues easily found during an after-hours facility walk.
- ENERGY STAR: Make the business case for energy efficiency at all levels of your organization and follow ENERGY STAR's Guidelines for Energy Management.
- Seattle 2030 District: The Seattle 2030 District is a ground-breaking high-performance building district in downtown Seattle that aims to reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations, while increasing Seattle's competitiveness in the business environment and owner's return on investment.