On the Road to Discuss Energy Efficiency Finance

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Demand for energy efficiency financing has grown significantly in the past decade. In response, the landscape of available financing products in the market has evolved drastically, with new and specialized options becoming increasingly available. While traditional products (e.g. leases and loans) still account for the majority of the market, specialized products such as Energy Services Agreements (ESAs) and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) are quickly growing as they are designed to overcome specific challenges that traditional products may not address. Making sense of this new landscape can be a challenge, and JDM’s Joe Indvik will be speaking at a number of events in the coming months focusing on understanding the energy efficiency financing market and how to find financing that works for your organization. Here is a quick summary of where he will be:

 2017 ACEEE Energy Efficiency Finance Forum – Chicago, IL – May 21-23rd

Joe will be speaking on a panel titled Commercial Market Insights for Energy Efficiency Financing along with Greg Leventis (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and Jerome Bilodeau (Dunsky Energy Consulting) on Monday, May 22nd at 11 AM.

 2017 BOMA International Annual Conference & Expo – Nashville, TN – June 24-27th

Joe will be joined by Brenna Walraven (Corporate Sustainability Strategies) to present Navigating Energy Efficiency Financing: Understand The Market and Find Financing That Works For You.

Greenbuild Conference and Expo – Boston, MA – November 8-10th

Joe will be a part of the How to Recover your Investments in Sustainability session with Abigail Dean (TH Real Estate) and Brenna Walraven (Corporate Sustainability Strategies).

One of the main subjects of Joe’s presentations will be the Better Buildings Financing Navigator, a new Department of Energy online tool that helps public and private sector organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency projects. For more information on the Navigator’s features, check out this blog post from Better Buildings, or this webinar that features a live demo. You can access the tool directly at this link: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/financing-navigator.

JDM’s Holt Mountcastle and Joe Indvik contributed to this post

Congratulations to 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Winners!

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JDM would like to congratulate this year’s ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award winners.  We offer special kudos to TH Real Estate, who earned Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence for the 8th consecutive year, and Principal Real Estate Investors who earned Partner of the Year for the second time in as many years.  We’re proud to support the energy management initiatives for both of these leading real estate organizations.

In addition, JDM is happy to see so many friends and colleagues among the winners. Congratulations to Beacon Capital, Bentall Kennedy, BOMA International, Bozzuto Management Company, CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Fannie Mae, Hines, IREM, JLL, Kilroy Realty Corporation, NMHC, Tishman Speyer, Transwestern, Vornado, and USAA!

We hope to see many of you at the 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Awards  on Wednesday, April 26th!

ENERGY STAR is Good For Business

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Check out this post from Cliff Majersik, the executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation that describes the benefits of the EPA ENERGY STAR® program for commercial buildings. As Cliff points out, the U.S. spends more than $400 billion annually to power buildings and as much as 30% of that energy is wasted. The ENERGY STAR program offers building owners and operators key tools and resources to understand and reduce energy use in commercial buildings. For more information, visit energystar.gov/buildings.

Sustainability Guidance through IREM

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The Institute for Real Estate Management (IREM) has been conducting sustainability workshops for its members throughout the month of March. Tailored to the needs of local chapters, the topics range from Minneapolis’s “Waste Less” conservation programs – with a general focus on practical ways to reduce utility usage and cost – to specific guidance and insights for complying with local benchmarking data ordinances, as in Seattle and Denver.

These workshops are targeted at everyone from property managers to facility teams to maintenance staff. IREM partners with local experts to help their members examine tools and resources necessary to initiate value-enhancing energy management programs for their portfolios.

IREM also encourages sustainability through its Certified Sustainable Property Program, available for multifamily, office, and shopping center properties.

The next workshop is in Denver, March 23. Register here: http://www.iremdenver.org/event-2468226

ENGINEER’S CORNER: DECODING LAMPS

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You walk into the office one morning and notice that one of the lights is out. You call the maintenance office to replace it, but they need to know the specifications of the bulb to bring beforehand (just go with it). You remove the lamp from its socket, only to notice an ambiguous sequence of letters and numbers on its base. You attempt to read it, but get lost in the jargon; what the heck does this sequence mean? Is this just a model number or does it convey any relevance to the lamp, in general? Have no fear; you’re not alone. It’s time to decode the code…

Unlike the product number, a lamp code, or lamp designation, conveys physical and operational characteristics. Depending on the manufacturer and lamp type, these can include type, shape, size, brightness, color rendering index (CRI), wattage, voltage, color temperature, and ideal setting for use. To build some intuition when trying to decipher lamp jargon, we’ll use a typical lamp found in the commercial setting – the 4-foot linear T8. To demonstrate the variation in lamp codes, even within the same lamp type, we’ll compare two 4-foot, linear T8s from different manufacturers: Sylvania and Philips.

Sylvania Linear Fluorescent T8   |   Lamp Code: FO32/741/ECO

FO32-

This section contains two criteria: lamp subtype and wattage.

FO stands for Fluorescent OCTRON®, which means the T8 is a fluorescent and the manufacturer-specific model name is OCTRON®. The lamp’s wattage is 32 watts.

-741-

This number also holds two criteria: color rendering index (CRI) and color temperature.

The 7 represents 70 and corresponds to the CRI of the lamp. CRI tells you how accurately a lamp’s light renders the colors of the object(s) it illuminates and ranges from 1 to 100. The higher the CRI, the more accurate (color-wise) the objects appear when illuminated. In this case, the 7 tells you that the CRI is somewhere between 70 and 79. The exact CRI can usually be found through the manufacturer.

41 represents 4,100 and refers to the color temperature, measured in Kelvin (K). Color temperature is the perceived color of a lamp’s light, which typically ranges from yellow to blue (about 2,200 K to 6,500 K, respectively).

-ECO

This stands for ECOLOGIC®, which is specific to Sylvania and their program addressing the environmental aspect of its lamps.

Philips Linear LED T8   |   Lamp Code: 12T8/48-4000 IF

12T8-

This contains two criteria: lamp wattage (12 watts) and general lamp type (T8).

-48-

This is the length of the lamp, in inches.

-4000 IF

This also contains two criteria: color temperature (4,000 K) and manufacturer model. IF stands for InstantFit, which is specific to Philips.

WILL IT ALWAYS LOOK LIKE THAT?

Not always. Typically, all bulbs of the same type (e.g., T8, PL, etc.) will abide by similar code parameters, but this can be manufacturer-specific and may not translate perfectly to another style. However, you’ll usually find the same characteristics grouped together (e.g., color temperature and CRI). In any case, you can always find the lamp specifications online if you get stuck, either through the manufacturer or a lamp vendor.

JDM’s Adriel Gaeta and Tom Turnbull contributed to this post

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Register for the Better Buildings Summit in Washington, D.C.!

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The Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Summit is back! The 2017 Better Buildings Summit will take place May 15-17 in at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C. The Summit is the biggest event of the year for Better Buildings partners, providing opportunities to talk about energy efficiency tools, strategies, and proven successes in commercial buildings of all shapes, sizes, and sectors. Join us, and the over 900 companies and organizations that attend, to take part in specifically tailored sessions, workshops, and more. Special events, keynote speakers, and building tours round out the agenda.  Click here to register and don’t forget to take a look at the agenda-at-a-glanceHotel reservations are available, and you can keep an eye out for updates on programming – including keynote speakers, special workshops, and building tours – at the Summit website.

The Latest in Mandatory Benchmarking Disclosure – New Laws, Upcoming Deadlines, and Where to Find Help

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An increasing number of local and state governments across the nation require owners and managers of commercial buildings to benchmark their utility data using EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® tool and to disclose performance to the government and/or to potential buyers.

In the past few months, these jurisdictions have passed benchmarking disclosure mandates:

City Date Passed: Compliance Starts:
Denver, CO 12/19/2016 9/1/2017
Los Angeles, CA 12/13/2016 7/1/2017
Evanston, IL 12/12/2016 6/30/2017
Orlando, FL 12/5/2016 5/1/2018
Portland, ME 11/07/2016 5/1/2018
Pittsburgh, PA 10/18/2016 6/1/2018

Reporting Deadlines Approach

Reporting compliance dates vary with each jurisdiction usually falling between April 1st and July 1st. The Policy Comparison Matrix and the interactive Jurisdiction Map are tools that quickly detail which building types must comply with the regulation and important dates to keep in mind. In addition, BuildingRating.org, a collaboration between the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the Global Buildings Performance Network (GPPN), provides many other resources to help you stay on top of benchmarking mandates across the country. For example, the Data and Data Visualization graphic links to the city-specific websites that display your building’s energy performance publicly.

Make it Easy

Regularly benchmarking a property’s performance allows you to quickly and accurately report to city disclosure programs. Consistency is key to properly measure and improve your property’s performance, ultimately leading to quicker energy and cost savings. Regular benchmarking can also directly affect your bottom line. The EPA found that buildings that benchmark regularly reduced energy use by 2.4 percent each year, with a total savings of 7 percent.

These utilities are helping to make benchmarking even easier by making aggregated whole-building data readily available through a direct upload to your property’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account. Check out ENERGY STAR’s interactive map to see if your building has access to aggregated whole-building data through your utility.

JDM Can Help!

JDM Associates regularly provides clients with benchmarking services that help to ensure data accuracy and compliance with local mandates. Contact us if you’d like more information about how JDM can help your building portfolio.


JDM’s Allison Nozza and Miriam Benjamin contributed to this post

ENGINEER’S CORNER: IS YOUR BUILDING’S ENVELOPE VULNERABLE?

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With the coldest part of winter ahead of us, it’s important to ensure your building envelope isn’t compromised. If there are any leaks, your building may be losing conditioned air, thereby heating and ventilating more than necessary. Since this is hard to detect with the naked eye, thermal imaging is recommended. Thermal imaging, or thermography, detects the thermal signature of whatever is in the imager’s field of view. Using a thermal camera, images of a building can be taken to see if there are any points of major temperature difference. Using the results, problematic areas can be identified, allowing the necessary repairs to be made.

Recently at  an office building in Boston, JDM engineers identified an issue with the building’s dampers. In this instance, multiple dampers were partially open when the HVAC system wasn’t operating. This resulted in an estimated 46,000 kilowatt-hours being wasted annually. Simply by resealing the dampers and ensuring proper operation, the building was able to save an estimated $6,600 per year with an instant payback. This is a more straightforward example of how thermal imaging can help. However, heat loss can be much more subtle in other building areas.

Although heat loss (or gain, depending on the season) is the most apparent factor to consider, a sound building envelope minimizes your risk for other issues, including moisture and poor indoor air quality. If moisture enters your building, over time, mold can establish itself and spread to other nearby locations, ultimately compromising the quality of your indoor air. Therefore, if you haven’t had a thermographic inspection before, it is an excellent means of preventative maintenance for your building. We also recommend re-inspecting every 5-10 years. Just be sure to do it at either peak summer or peak winter season, when there is the biggest temperature difference between the interior and exterior of your building. Also, an interior thermographic inspection is preferred so that external weather conditions don’t complicate the imaging process.

JDM’s Adriel Gaeta contributed to this post. 

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New Tool: Better Buildings Financing Navigator

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The Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Initiative launched a new online tool to help public and private sector organizations find financing solutions for energy efficiency projects. The tool, called the Better Buildings Financing Navigator, will help users to learn the basics of the energy efficiency financing market, explore and compare financing solutions to find the ones that best fit their needs, and connect directly with financing companies who can provide the recommended options. For more information on the Navigator’s features, check out this blog post from Better Buildings, or this webinar that features a live demo. You can access the tool directly at this link: https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/financing-navigator.