How commercial building owners use energy efficiency to become more competitive in a challenging market.
"Energy consumption is the number one operating expense of a commercial building. The value of commercial real estate is down, the occupancy is down, rates are down. And about the only way you can bring value to that building right now is to reduce operating expenses." – Rod Kauffman, Building Owners and Managers Association, Seattle - King County
Many cities across the Northwest are experiencing a challenging rental market with high vacancies rates. With a Seattle and Bellevue downtown office vacancy rate nearing 20%, commercial buildings are facing a challenging market. Many commercial building owners are attracting more tenants through energy efficiency improvements that save the tenant money, reduce energy usage in the buildings as a whole.
To engage more commercial buildings in energy efficiency improvements, NEEA teams with the Building Owners and Managers Associations (BOMA) in Seattle and local utilities, to sponsor friendly energy benchmarking competitions that challenge owners and managers to reduce energy use over time.
The Kilowatt Crackdown is a fun and friendly competition that captures the “competitive nature” of the commercial real estate industry by challenging building owners and managers to make measurable and lasting changes in the way they use energy in commercial spaces.
The first Seattle Kilowatt Crackdown in 2009 resulted in 53 competing properties, representing over 18 million square feet or 20 percent of the Puget Sound office market. The combined energy savings from the participating buildings is equal to the annual electric consumption of 1,000 Northwest homes. In 2011, all combined, 71 buildings competed in Puget Sound’s Kilowatt Crackdown and achieved more than 24 million kWh in projected annual savings.
How did they do this?
Bentall Kennedy, owners of Newport Corporate Center, won first place for the Highest Performing Small Building (40,000 – 100,000 square feet) with their One Newport Building in Bellevue, Wash.
The real estate company prevailed because they initiated changes in motion sensors lighting, eliminated the lighting control system and modified programming in its energy management system. This combination of improvements all contributed to winning the award, lowered energy costs in the building and more comfortable workspaces for tenants.
Puget Sound Energy - featuring Cal Shirley
Washington’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and 750,000 natural gas customers. PSE meets the energy needs of its customers through incremental, cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service and delivering energy that is safe, dependable and efficient.
Bentall Kennedy - featuring Randy Davis
Bentall Kennedy is one of North America’s largest real estate investment advisors and one of its foremost providers of real estate services. Serving the interests of more than 500 clients across 142 million square feet of office, retail, industrial, hotel, and apartment properties totaling $26 billion throughout Canada and the U.S., Bentall Kennedy has a 100‐year track record of delivering superior returns and a reputation for integrity, innovation and creating value. It is a member of UN PRI and is a recognized global leader in Responsible Property Investing.
Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Seattle King County - featuring spokesperson Rod Kauffman
The Building Owners and Managers Association of Seattle King County is a professional trade association whose several hundred members from 250 firms either own or manage commercial real estate or provide goods and services to the industry. Established in 1912, BOMA is the voice of the office building and commercial real estate industry.
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - featuring Phill Guay
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is a non-profit organization working to maximize energy efficiency to meet our future energy needs. NEEA is supported by, and works in collaboration with, the Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Trust of Oregon and more than 100 Northwest utilities on behalf of more than 12 million energy consumers.