As part of its new energy alliance, top executives from 19 commercial real estate companies met with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials in New York City to discuss plans to significantly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. buildings. Commercial buildings account for 18 percent of the nation’s energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, according to the DOE.
The meeting officially launched DOE’s Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance (CREEA), a partnership of commercial real estate owners and operators who have volunteered to work together with DOE to improve the energy consumption of commercial real estate buildings. CREEA will link building owners and operators with applicable research and technologies being developed at DOE’s National Laboratories.
CREEA is the second energy alliance launched by the Department of Energy in the commercial buildings sector. The Retailer Energy Alliance, with members such as Walmart, Target and Macy’s, was launched in 2008. These alliances are part of the Department’s Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative (CBI), which aims to achieve market-ready, zero-energy commercial buildings by 2025.
Major office energy retrofits — not part of the CREEA initiative — are already underway on both coasts.
The Empire State Building is receiving a $20 million overhaul that should result in $4.4 million in energy savings annually, or a 38 percent energy reduction. Also in New York, SL Green Realty, which says it’s the owner of New York City’s largest commercial office property portfolio has announced its own energy savings initiative, which is estimated to save as much as 35 cents per square foot in utility costs overall.
On the west coast, the Los Angeles City Council recently approved a first-in-the-nation plan to create jobs, cut carbon emission and revitalize the inner city by voting to support a green retrofit of city buildings, reported the Liberty Hill Foundation.