A STAR is Born Oct03

A STAR is Born

October is Energy Awareness Month, which gives businesses and consumers lots of opportunities to learn about, adopt and promote energy-efficiency practices that reduce consumption and save money. First comes Energy Efficiency Day on Oct. 4. Even more opportunities come just a week later – on ENERGY STAR® Day, Oct. 11. ENERGY STAR Day seeks to use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms to connect audiences, particularly underserved communities, to all the ways they can save with ENERGY STAR. The website for the program, which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), encourages partners, including Yardi, to “co-amplify the important message of energy efficiency and a clean energy future for all” with their own ENERGY STAR-tagged messages. Other ways to participate in ENERGY STAR Day include community service and education projects. By engaging all levels of employees in ENERGY STAR Day, employers can “provide valuable energy and money-saving opportunities … while enhancing your commitment to energy-efficiency, sustainability, and social responsibility,” EPA says. ENERGY STAR Day’s focus on equity stems from a study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. It revealed that low-income households pay up to three times more on home energy costs than more affluent households, representing nearly 20% of their income. “Addressing this access disparity is a priority for EPA, and one we know we can address by working together with our partners,” the EPA says. See how you and your organization can participate in ENERGY STAR Day and enable ENERGY STAR to amplify your energy-efficiency success...

Energy Efficiency Day, Oct. 4 Sep26

Energy Efficiency Day, Oct. 4

On the 8th annual Energy Efficiency Day, Oct. 4, Yardi Energy will join thousands of organizations in the U.S. and Canada in sharing ideas for reducing energy waste and expanding energy efficiency. Energy Efficiency Day provides a forum for U.S. and Canadian corporations, local governments, universities, utilities and other organizations to document such initiatives as upgrading lighting, building insulation and heat pumps and establishing partnerships with local utility companies to reduce stress on the grid during peak demand. The day helps those occupying and investing in residential, commercial, affordable and other property types “share tips, tools and stories that promote the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, [which is] the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, cut consumer bills and reduce pollution,” says the Energy Efficiency Day organization, a coalition of U.S. energy efficiency advocacy groups. Energy Efficiency Day holds special resonance for Yardi because it involves “a core component of our mission as a real estate technology provider. It’s a great opportunity to focus attention on the critical issue of energy performance, spur action and inspire long-term thinking about what’s needed to create a positive energy future,” adds Joe Consolo, Yardi industry principal for energy. In March, Yardi received the 2023 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award after being named Partner of the Year for five consecutive years. The Yardi ESG software suite enables green energy procurement, whole-building energy water and waste data aggregation, and reduced energy usage in residential and commercial properties. The company has also maintained ENERGY STAR certification for its corporate headquarters in Goleta, Calif. Learn more about ways to maximize the impact of Energy Efficiency Day, including a toolkit for promoting your efforts on social media channels, joining the conversation and finding news about energy efficiency...

Energy Buzz Sep20

Energy Buzz

Here’s the latest of our periodic reports on projects undertaken by businesses and academic institutions that are sponsored by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), the U.S Department of Energy’s R&D arm. Domestic energy production projects In August, the DOE announced funding for 18 ARPA-E projects designed to establish potential new areas of technology development and information that could bolster domestic energy production, cut consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The funding recipients include: WH-Power of College Park, Md., which will develop a zinc battery – inherently safer and less expensive than existing batteries – that can operate at both high and low temperatures in residential and grid-scale energy storage applications. C-Crete Technologies of San Leandro, Calif., which will create new insulation for large power transformers that could save the U.S. economy tens of billions of dollars annually by reducing the number of power outages associated with transformer failures. The University of Notre Dame, which will design a low-cost power transistor for devices used in electric vehicles, industrial power control and more. The proposed design could lead to possible energy savings of one quadrillion British Thermal Units per year, about 1% of annual energy consumption in the U.S. Perseus Materials of Knoxville, Tenn., which will develop new composite wind turbine blade manufacturing modes that could reduce labor costs, cycle times and factory footprints at the same output levels. Clean energy and data centers Another round of funding announced in June earmarked $100 million to support the commercialization of clean energy technologies. In May, 15 projects received $40 million from ARPA-E to develop high-performance, energy efficient cooling solutions for data centers that house computers, storage systems and computing infrastructure. Data centers account for approximately 2% of total U.S. electricity consumption while data center cooling can...

Partners in Excellence Sep13

Partners in Excellence

Earlier this year, Yardi earned an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy after earning designation as Partner of the Year for five consecutive years. The award recognizes Yardi’s efforts in 2022 to help clients benchmark energy and water usage, obtain green financing, expand their energy management skills at Yardi Advanced Solutions Conferences and incorporate ENERGY STAR into an energy management software dashboard. Yardi was joined by a distinguished roster of fellow Sustained Excellence Award recipients from numerous industries across the country. Here’s a sampling. Commercial food service equipment manufacturer ITW Food Equipment Group of Troy, Ohio, increased ENERGY STAR-certified product offerings across its seven brands, trained its entire staff on ENERGY STAR and promoted the program’s benefits to end-users and distributors. ITW also introduced new ENERGY STAR-certified products, such as fryers and ovens, and marketed the program extensively through press releases, blog posts, website content and social media. Los Angeles-based home builder KB Home built more than 12,000 ENERGY STAR-certified homes in 2022 and generated more than 120 million impressions for an upcoming energy-smart connected community development that will include 200+ ENERGY STAR-certified homes. KB Home also promoted ENERGY STAR across various online platforms. Cenergistic, a Dallas sustainability consulting company, benchmarked more than 1,000 properties and integrated ENERGY STAR into all of its client services. The company submitted 341 ENERGY star certification and recertification applications, implemented energy management plans for its clients and posted ENERGY STAR content on social media. Nissan North America Inc., based in Franklin, Tenn., used ENERGY STAR tools and resources to reduce the energy intensity of its North American operations. The motor vehicle manufacturer achieved ENERGY STAR certifications for two manufacturing plants and hosted energy treasure hunts that identified over 18,139 metric million British thermal units in potential energy savings. Nissan also provided pro bono engineer reviews that helped 16 schools earn ENERGY STAR certification. EnergyLogic Inc., a home energy rating and applied building science company in Berthoud, Colo., provided technical support and training for home energy raters, program stakeholders and other industry professionals to ensure consistent application of ENERGY STAR program requirements. Its building science consultations incorporated trends, materials, systems and technologies that enhanced its clients’ ENERGY STAR success in 2022. The Des Moines Public Schools district in Iowa became an ENERGY STAR Certification Nation Premier Member by earning certification for 36 schools in 2022. The district also saved $1 million in energy costs that year. Financial services provider MetLife Inc. of New York City achieved ENERGY STAR certification for 30 properties, published three white papers on decarbonization and launched a campaign to increase the quantity and quality of portfolio-wide whole building energy data. MetLife also established a target to achieve net-zero emissions for its global operations and general account investment portfolio no later than 2050. St. Louis-based smart thermostat manufacturer Emerson Sensi conducted more than 1,200 ENERGY STAR training sessions for contractors in 2022 and offered ENERGY STAR-certified thermostats that are compatible with major smart home ecosystems such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple Home and Samsung SmartThings. Sensi also featured ENERGY STAR messaging on its retail products’ packaging. See the complete list of ENERGY STAR Award winners for 2023. Learn how Yardi helps commercial and residential real estate companies achieve their energy and sustainability...

Property Energy Data Requirements Sep07

Property Energy Data Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires commercial and multifamily building owners to improve performance in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water use among other aspects of building operations. With compliance deadlines approaching, several jurisdictions are stepping up their energy benchmarking efforts. Indianapolis, Miami and New Jersey, for example, have deadlines this year. Deadlines for New York City, St. Louis and Denver come in 2024, with Washington, D.C., Boston and others to follow over the next two years. That’s why the EPA has been working to raise awareness of the importance of aggregated whole building data and ways that states and utility providers can provide it to property owners. This data delivers visibility into energy consumption and helps create a roadmap for instituting ongoing operational improvements. “Demand for this data will grow as building owners seek new federal incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act that require documentation of whole-building performance as a condition of participation,” the EPA says. EPA has also advised states on passing laws that can overcome barriers utilities face in providing data. Such laws can create a path to cover costs associated with providing the data and define requirements to protect individual tenant data. The EPA will launch a full-fledged campaign over the coming months, in partnership with key building owner associations, to raise awareness of the need for this data among state policymakers and utilities. How Yardi can help What is Yardi’s connection to property owners satisfying these EPA requirements? The company’s advanced software and service solutions “simplify the aggregation of whole building data collection and reporting for environmental, social and governance purposes. The first step is gathering data from multiple sources and identifying efficient and inefficient buildings,” says Joe Consolo, industry principal for Yardi Energy. He adds, “Tracking an asset’s performance over time is also critically important. Having received an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award and earned ongoing ENERGY STAR certification for our corporate headquarters, Yardi has the expertise to work with utilities and our client building owners, tenants and residents on these priorities.” Learn more about Yardi’s comprehensive energy management solutions for energy management solutions for residential and commercial...

Energy Projections Aug09

Energy Projections

Here are recent projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a statistical and analytical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy that collects, analyzes and disseminates energy information. Record liquid fuel consumption coming in ’24 Global consumption of liquid fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel will set new record highs in 2024. After topping an average of 101 million barrels per day for the first time in 2023, consumption will average more than 102 million barrels per day the following year. Crude oil prices will decline in that time, however, largely due to increases in crude oil production, especially in North and South America. That could also drive prices lower at the pump. The price decline prediction holds despite announcements in 2022 and 2023 by the OPEC+ oil exporting cartel to cut crude oil production by about 3.5 million barrels per day. “Our forecast for global consumption of petroleum depends on uncertain economic conditions—especially in China,” said EIA Administrator Joe DeCarolis. “How China’s economy changes following its reopening from pandemic lockdowns could have a significant impact on global consumption of petroleum products.” Coal down, renewables up The share of U.S. electricity generated from coal will decrease from 20% in 2022 to 18% in 2023 and 17% in 2024. Meanwhile, the share of renewable energy as a source for electricity generation continues to increase and is projected to reach 26% of total generation in 2024. About two-thirds of the forecast increase in renewables generation comes from new utility-scale solar photovoltaic capacity, with most of the rest anticipated from new wind projects. About 5% of U.S. coal-fired electric-generating capacity retired in the 12 months before April 2023. Investment in renewable sources such as wind and solar and the operating cost advantage of those...

Satisfying Investors Jul24

Satisfying Investors

Today’s real estate investors not only want the financial and operational numbers on their assets but what’s driving them. That includes environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, which is becoming increasingly important to property occupants, investors and regulators.  In fact, many institutional investors who provide money for U.S. real estate companies incorporate ESG criteria into their investment decisions. Meanwhile, 85% of asset owners believe ESG factors are material to investment policy. And many states and municipalities have enacted laws requiring public disclosure of energy-use data. “Property owners required to report ESG data to investors and regulators need aggregated data that can be used for multiple purposes. Investors also want access to their energy information on the same system as the investment data,”says Joe Consolo, industry principal of Yardi Energy. That’s why boosting ESG performance and data accessibility is critical to sustaining asset value, mitigating risks and optimizing returns.  Many investment managers are discovering that the most efficient approach to ESG management is a technology platform that combines data for energy, property management  and investment management. Benefits of this single-platform approach to ESG performance include: A single source of the truth that encompasses the underlying asset and rolls into the investment structure and then to the investor. The result is faster, better-informed investor decisions and no errors from disparate systems becoming outdated. Full compliancewith increasingly stringent ESG compliance requirements, including accurate assessments of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.   Energy consumption reductions of up to 30% with better data. Efficient submission of data required for ENERGY STAR certifications, successful ASHRAE Level 2 audits, GRESB® reports and energy-oriented financial incentives, also known as “green financing.” Risk mitigation through full visibility of operations. Higher LEED and ENERGY STAR scores that help attract investors and high-quality tenants.  Investor...

Keys to ESG

Note: This article is adapted from an interview with Joe Consolo, Yardi’s industry principal for energy, that was published in PERE magazine. “ESG [environmental, social and governance] performance is becoming a key concern and differentiator for many real estate players,” PwC and the Urban Land Institute declared in their joint Emerging Trends in Real Estate survey report in 2022. Establishing ESG priorities to meet changing compliance and investor expectations complicates the already complex business of property management – but in today’s environment, property owners need to avoid the consequences of ESG obsolescence that can alienate investors and tenants and invite regulatory penalties. That’s why enhancing ESG performance with improved operations, technology and tenant behavior is critical to sustaining asset value. Obsolescence risks investor hesitancy Back when ESG factors weighed less heavily on property management, buildings become obsolescent because their design or amenities become outdated, causing the properties to lose market value. External factors such as the location or local job loss often also came into play. But in this era, failure to comply with energy efficiency standards and other ESG standards rank among the key drivers of property obsolescence – and real estate investment decisions. With laws governing environmental and construction standards “only becoming more stringent, there is a significant risk for the future if you barely meet those standards today,” Consolo says. Tech bolsters compliance Fortunately, property managers can undertake a number of initiatives to prevent ESG obsolescence and maintain attractiveness to investors and tenants. They include such relatively simple sustainable processes as encouraging tenants to recycle and switch off their lights at day’s end. Preventative equipment maintenance, such as changing filters, upgraded air handlers and other equipment and dealing promptly with equipment failure, also helps maintain peak ESG performance. Other actions that...

Cities Step Up May08

Cities Step Up

The ENERGY STAR® initiative, which certifies businesses and consumer products that conform with energy-efficient solutions that protect the climate and public health, launched more than 20 years ago. It remains a key U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote carbon pollution-free electricity and achieve net-zero emissions targets. An EPA report in November 2022 noted that energy benchmarking enabled by ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® has grown from 2,000 office buildings in 1999 to more than 280,000 buildings encompassing over 27 billion square feet of space. ENERGY STAR-certified buildings use an average of 35% less energy and produce 35% fewer carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. As part of its focus on commercial buildings, which account for 16% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and $190 billion in annual energy spending, the EPA compiles an annual Top Cities list that measures the achievements of metros’ ENERGY STAR performance. Here are highlights from this year’s list, which encompasses commercial and multifamily properties: Most certified buildings. Los Angeles came in first in this category, as it did the previous three years, with 748, followed by Washington, D.C., with 555, Atlanta (376) and San Francisco (343). New York City, Denver, Riverside, Calif., Chicago, Dallas and Boston rounded out the top 10. Most total floor area. Los Angeles and Washington led in this ranking as well with 162.8 million square feet and 149.1 million square feet, respectively. New York and Chicago each exceeded 100 million square feet, with Atlanta and San Francisco close behind with 93.7 million square feet and 92.7 million square feet, respectively. Most greenhouse gas emissions prevented (measured by metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent). San Francisco was far ahead in this category, with 2,007,000 metric tons. Washington came in second with 517,200 metric tons, followed by Chicago, New York, Houston and Denver. Biggest cost savings. Los Angeles was the champion in this category, saving $226 million through ENERGY STAR-related initiatives. Washington was second with $180.7 million, with New York ($170.3 million) and San Francisco ($141.5 million) the other metros to achieve nine-digit savings. Mid-size and small cities. EPA also ranked smaller metros’ ENERGY STAR performance. In the mid-size category, Milwaukee was the leader in the total floor area, emissions prevented and cost savings categories, while Raleigh, N.C., was the building count leader. Among small cities, Punta Gorda, Fla., led in total floor space and cost savings, while Jackson, Mich., topped the building count and Sioux City, Iowa, set the pace for emissions prevention. “I applaud this year’s top cities, as well as the owners and managers of each ENERGY STAR-certified building in them, for taking real action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help America address the climate crisis,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a news release. See the complete 2023 ENERGY STAR Top Cities report. Yardi recently received the 2023 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy after being named Partner of the Year for five consecutive years. Read the...

Observe Earth Day Apr19

Observe Earth Day

The first Earth Day took place in 1970 when 20 million Americans united to demand greater protections for our planet. Today, Earth Day is recognized across the globe with one billion individuals supporting the mission to maintain and protect our planet’s natural resources. With increased attention on ESG initiatives, this Earth Day is a great time to make a commitment to decrease your organization’s energy use. You can start by reviewing the checklists provided by ENERGY STAR® for low-cost and rapid payback energy-saving measures. Suggestions range from operations and maintenance to occupant behavior and education. And Yardi Pulse has solutions and services to support you along the way: Want to better understand your utility invoices and ensure payments are on time to reduce if not eliminate late fees? Utility Invoice Processing outsources review and payment to Yardi staff familiar with the complexities of these documents.  Ready to save 2-5% on your energy costs? Meter Insights collects and analyzes real-time energy data to identify issues before they show up as anomalies on your invoice. Interested in proactive and predictive maintenance to get a jump on costly equipment repairs? Fault Detection automatically syncs with Yardi Facility Manager to identify faults early so you can replace individual parts, rather than entire pieces of equipment. Need to benchmark or certify your buildings? Yardi is an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence award winner and a GRESB Global Partner. Our Energy Benchmarking teams work closely with these organizations to ensure our energy team can streamline these intricate processes on your behalf. Hoping to find energy at a lower cost? If your buildings operate in a deregulated market, our Energy Procurement team can leverage their expertise to conduct market research, negotiate pricing and review legal contracts. Looking to...

STAR Power Apr05

STAR Power

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honors a group of businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. Since 1992, the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and its partners helped prevent four billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our atmosphere. In 2020 alone, the program’s emissions reductions were equivalent to more than five percent of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions. Highest EPA accolade As a Service and Product Provider, Yardi is proud to receive the 2023 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy after being named Partner of the Year for five consecutive years. The award is the highest EPA honor and celebrates companies that offer energy services and products in the commercial, institutional or industrial markets for successfully assisting their clients in strategic energy management and building design. This includes energy services companies (ESCOs), unregulated energy retailers and marketers, engineers, architects, energy consultants, contractors, distributors, manufacturers, commercial lenders, energy information providers and any other provider of energy efficiency-related products and/or services. “As we accelerate historic efforts to address climate change, public-private partnerships will be essential to realizing the scale of our ambition,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I applaud this year’s ENERGY STAR award winners for working with EPA to deliver a clean energy future that saves American consumers and businesses money and creates jobs.” Energizing achievements “We applaud our clients’ impressive achievements, and we are proud to receive this honor from the EPA for the fifth consecutive year. Energy efficiency is a core component of our mission as a real estate technology provider. We remain committed to continuing to help the industry and our clients gain the utmost benefits using ENERGY...

Partner of the Year Mar28

Partner of the Year

Yardi is honored to receive the 2023 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy after being named Partner of the Year for five consecutive years. The award celebrates companies that offer energy services and products in the commercial, institutional or industrial markets for successfully assisting clients with strategic energy management and building design. Partner of the Year award winners have made a long-term commitment to fighting climate change and promoting public health through energy efficiency messaging.  In addition to promoting ENERGY STAR, Partner of the Year award recipients work with ENERGY STAR to continuously improve and advance service offerings. The award acknowledges Yardi’s efforts to educate and support clients with benchmarking services and technology solutions across real estate sectors including: Helping clients benchmark energy and water in over 5,500 buildings Promoting the importance of ENERGY STAR scores to clients through education, training and visibility  Including ENERGY STAR in Yardi’s energy management software dashboard Publishing articles and social media posts on the benefits of benchmarking, energy management and conservation Providing digital energy courses for over 7,500 attendees during annual user conferences Sharing ENERGY STAR data to help clients gain access to green financing for buildings Earning ongoing ENERGY STAR certification for Yardi corporate headquarters in Goleta, California “As we accelerate historic efforts to address climate change, public-private partnerships will be essential to realizing the scale of our ambition,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I applaud this year’s ENERGY STAR award winners for working with EPA to deliver a clean energy future that saves American consumers and businesses money and creates jobs.” “We are proud to receive this honor from the EPA for the fifth consecutive year. Energy efficiency is a core component of our mission as a real estate technology provider, and we applaud our clients’ impressive achievements. We look forward to continuing to help our clients and the industry gain the utmost benefits using ENERGY STAR to meet business and sustainability goals as we all work together toward a clean energy future,” said Joe Consolo, Yardi industry principal for energy. See the complete list of winners...

EV Tech Feb26

EV Tech

Electric vehicles – and their charging apparatuses – are a hot topic. With electric vehicles accounting for only about 6% of U.S. new car sales in 2022, the country is one of the world’s largest markets for EVs. The federal government has set a goal of 500,000 EV charging stations at apartment buildings, public parking lots, roadways and other locations by 2030, up from 133,000 in 2020. At that point half of all road vehicles could be electric, if the government’s target is met. Owners of EVs, which use rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, spend 60% less each year on fuel costs compared to drivers of gas-powered cars, according to a Consumer Reports study in 2020. The federal government, most states and the District of Columbia offer tax credits and other incentives to install charging stations. California, for example, has provided $1.2 billion to build the infrastructure for EVs across the state. The state will also adopt regulations requiring EV charging station installation in the parking facilities of buildings, including hotels, multifamily buildings and nonresidential development, by 2025. Other states, including Arkansas and Florida, offer rebates for EV charging station installation and EV purchases. Approaching essential status One outgrowth of these and other trends is that EV charging stations are evolving into an essential asset for property managers. By installing EV charging stations, retail business, offices and workplace property managers gain opportunities to attract customers and tenants by demonstrating “their commitment to new technology and innovation,” says industry resource Property Manager Insider. “For multifamily and commercial properties, … the availability of reliable EV chargers is not just a nice-to-have, but a vital factor for retaining and attracting residents and tenants,” adds CleanTechnica, a clean energy news source. Key steps that property managers can take to stay...

Meet Yardi Energy  

Did you know that by 2050, the total number of adults ages 65 and older is projected to rise to 85.7 million, roughly 20% of the U.S. population? Delivered by America’s Health Rankings, this data reveals the growth of the aging population (taking into account that we’re at 54 million seniors in the U.S. today). So how does this relate to senior living operators? Simply put, as the aging population continues to grow, the number of seniors residing in communities will likely increase. This affects more things than one, including energy consumption in these communities. More residents, expanding properties and increased services equals more energy use. And without technology built to monitor that consumption and identify areas for improvement, senior living operators face heightened costs. Fortunately, leading solutions like the Yardi Energy Suite equip you to reduce costs and enhance efficiency all while meeting state, county and local benchmarking regulations. We’re excited to show you around this single connected solution below, but you can view our Yardi Energy guide for even more insights. The rise in energy consumption As we’ve covered, with more seniors living in communities, energy consumption will naturally increase. But monitoring consumption — and strategizing ways to save energy and reduce costs — isn’t easy. That is, without technology to lend a hand. In fact, the average building wastes roughly one-third of the energy it consumes, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This could be a result of not having the right solution in place to track consumption and identify savings opportunities. How to save Energy matters in senior living. With the right technology solution, you can save big time and boost efficiency all while meeting state, county and local benchmarking regulations (there are over 40 jurisdictions with mandatory...

EIA Updates Jan04

EIA Updates

This is the latest of our periodic updates on the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. Department of Energy’s statistical and analytical agency. EIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates energy information for the benefit of energy policymakers, analysts and consumers. Winter costs on the rise The EIA expects higher wholesale electricity prices this winter in every region of the country, with increases ranging from 33% higher in California to more than 60% in the mid-Atlantic and Central regions. Electricity price could peak more than three times higher in New England than elsewhere in the U.S., due to limited pipeline capacity for liquefied natural gas coupled with stronger global demand for LNG. In one encouraging sign for consumers, the EIA does not “expect retail electricity prices to increase as much wholesale prices this winter,” said Administrator Joe DeCarolis. Batteries on growth curve through ‘25 Developers and power plant owners plan to significantly increase utility-scale battery storage capacity in the U.S., reaching 30 gigawatts by the end of 2025. Batteries store extra energy produced by intermittent resources such as wind and solar. Battery storage capacity in the U.S., negligible prior to 2020, grew to 7.8 GW by October 2022, with 1.4 GW more capacity expected by the end of the year and an additional 20.8 GW through 2025, more than 75% of which will be in California and Texas. Developers have scheduled more than 20 large-scale battery projects to be deployed by 2025. The 409 megawatt Manatee Energy Storage in Florida is currently the U.S.’s largest operating battery storage project. Uptick in commercial building efficiency A recently released U.S. commercial buildings energy consumption survey report shows that the average total amount of energy used per square foot in commercial buildings decreased by 12% from 2012 to...

ENERGY STAR Impact Dec01

ENERGY STAR Impact

A recent report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency traces 20 years of energy efficiency progress enabled by ENERGY STAR® and proposes a framework for achieving a zero-carbon economy. ENERGY STAR originated in 1991 as part of the EPA’s Climate Partnerships Programs initiative, which sought ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote carbon pollution-free electricity and achieve net-zero emissions targets. ENERGY STAR certifies businesses and consumer products that conform with energy-efficient solutions that protect the climate and public health. Documenting ENERGY STAR’s impact The EPA report notes that energy benchmarking enabled by ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® has grown from 2,000 office buildings initially to more than 280,000 buildings encompassing over 27 billion square feet of space across 15 building types. More than 36,000 buildings – including the Yardi headquarters buildings in Santa Barbara, Calif. – have earned ENERGY STAR certification for excellence in energy performance. Key findings in the new report, which includes survey findings from 2019, include: ENERGY STAR-certified offices are 18 times larger than similar buildings, representing an opportunity to expand certification to smaller and mid-sized buildings. EPA incentives plus expanded state and local benchmarking, performance and disclosure mandates are expected to expand certification among smaller buildings Almost 40% of ENERGY STAR office buildings are all-electric, up from 30% in 1999. The report notes that efficiency of fuel use, rather than the mix of fuels used, drives ENERGY STAR-level performance. Furthermore, efficiently using electricity to meet energy needs positions buildings to leverage onsite renewable systems HVAC and lighting system upgrades are a priority, with 72% of ENERGY STAR buildings pursuing HVAC enhancements and 83% implementing lighting systems upgrades. Such upgrades were a priority for only about a third of the buildings reported in a 2012 survey ENERGY STAR buildings deploy more sophisticated...

Building Energy Nov11

Building Energy

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) sponsors corporate and academic institutions in a variety of energy-related projects. Here’s the latest of our periodic reviews of recent developments at the agency, which serves as the U.S. Department of Energy’s R&D arm. Buildings as carbon storage facilities In June, the DOE announced 18 contract awards for its Harnessing Emissions into Structures Taking Inputs from the Atmosphere (HESTIA) program, which aims to develop technologies that can transform buildings into net carbon storage structures – meaning they absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than is released during construction. The HESTIA projects “will develop and demonstrate building materials and whole-building designs from a wide range of potential feedstocks (e.g., forestry and purpose-grown products, agricultural residues, direct carbon utilization) that are net carbon negative on a life-cycle basis by using atmospheric CO2 in the production process,” according to ARPA-E. “This is a unique opportunity for researchers to advance clean energy materials to tackle one of the hardest to decarbonize sectors that is responsible for roughly 10% of total annual emissions in the United States,” Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm said in a press release. HESTIA project team members receiving contracts include the National Renewable Energy Lab in Fairbanks, Alaska; Purdue University; Aspen Products Group of Marlborough, Mass; Biomason, based in Durham, N.C.; and the University of Pennsylvania. Another HESTIA project, announced in March, awarded contracts to the University of Washington and UC Davis to evaluate materials and designs and generate lifecycle assessments for the project. Learn more about the HESTIA projects. Forward-thinking tech projects net funding Twenty small businesses received contracts in July under ARPA-E’s Supporting Entrepreneurial Energy Discoveries (SEED) program, which seeks to develop forward-thinking energy technologies ranging from revamped biofuel manufacturing, newly efficient extraction of metals from e-waste, sustainable...

EPA Buildings Report Nov09

EPA Buildings Report

A report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency illustrates how race and income impact the energy performance of a community’s buildings. The DataTrends research and analysis report shows that ENERGY STAR® scores for buildings in communities of color averaged 2% lower than buildings in majority-white communities. Buildings in low-income communities scored an average of 4% lower than moderate- and high-income community buildings. The EPA report, which summarizes ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® data and ENERGY STAR scores from 242,098 build­ings spanning 85 building types, found that: The average ENERGY STAR score – a 1-to-100 rating that compares a building’s energy performance to similar buildings nationwide – in communities of color was 57.5 vs. 58.8 for buildings in majority-white communities ENERGY STAR scores in buildings in low-income communities averaged 56.5 vs. 58.8 recorded in moderate to high income communities K-12 schools and multifamily buildings show the largest differences in average ENERGY STAR scores as measured by both race and income level The proportion of fully electrified buildings in cold and moderate climates was 15.2% for communities of color and 20.6% for majority-white communities. The prevalence of electrification in similar low-income communities was 15.3% vs. 20% in moderate- and high- income communities 9.1% of buildings in communities of color in moderate and cold climates are reliant on heating oil – which has the highest carbon emissions intensity among the most common fossil fuel heating sources – whereas only 5.8% of white-majority community buildings are. The gap is narrower between low-income communities and moderate- to high-income communities: 6.5% and 6.8%, respectively The proportion of buildings equipped with onsite solar energy is virtually the same in all racial and income strata – 1% for communities of color and 0.8% for white-majority communities, 0.8% for low-income communities and 0.9% for...

A Single Solution Nov03

A Single Solution

A growing need for transparency among real estate managers, tenants, regulators and investors is expanding the value of automated property management technology platforms that centralize operational and financial data. “You need a consistent process to allow investors to access timely information,” says Chris Barbier, senior director of investment management at Yardi. “The new generation of investors has an expectation to access data anytime, anywhere, on any device.” That’s true with environmental, social and governance issues as well. “Clients need to be able to report ESG data to investors and regulators. They want aggregated data that can be used for multiple purposes,” adds Joe Consolo, director of Yardi Energy. “Investors want access to their energy information on the same system as the investment data.” Real estate investment and energy consumption management systems capable of integrating all data are starting to supersede manual systems that rely on email, spreadsheets and other less-efficient tools, according to Barbier and Consolo, who offered their insights in an interview published in PERE magazine. Why adopt a platform that connects accounting, operations, investment activities and ancillary services? Because, Barbier says in the article, it produces a single source of the truth that encompasses “the underlying asset, rolls into whatever the investment structure is and then ultimately out to the investor, all in one ecosystem.” A similar rationale applies to ESG compliance, Consolo notes. Accurate assessments of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are crucial to property owners’ ability to meet emissions targets, prompting many to seek technology platforms that consolidate governance documentation and measure energy, water and waste data in one system. Risk mitigation is the greatest value proposition for adopting a single connected solution for investment and environmental performance, Barbier and Consolo say. Such a platform enables decision-making informed by...

Energy Benchmarking Laws Nov02

Energy Benchmarking Laws

New energy benchmarking and reporting requirements requiring use of ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager are soon going into effect as cities, counties and states in North America work to reduce environmentally harmful emissions and combat global warming. Examples include: Montreal, QC. A city bylaw supporting the Climate Plan’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 requires owners of large buildings to disclose the sources and amounts of energy their buildings use. This information will help the city understand greenhouse gas emissions from its commercial, institutional and large multi-unit residential sectors and develop programs to improve buildings’ energy performance. The bylaw went into force this year for any building with a floor area of at least 15,000 square meters that is not exclusively residential and for any city-owned building of 2,000 square meters or more. The bylaw’s criteria will expand in 2023 and 2024. The program will “reduce buildings’ energy costs by improving energy consumption [and] show that Montreal building owners are leaders in energy transition, a major competitive advantage in the real estate sector,” the city says. Honolulu County, Hawai’i. An ordinance enacted in July established a Better Buildings Benchmarking program that requires large commercial and multifamily buildings in Honolulu County, which encompasses the island of O’ahu, to benchmark and report their energy and water usage annually. The requirement begins in June 2023 for buildings 100,000 square feet and larger, then phases in smaller buildings over 2024 and 2025 as part of a goal to achieve net negative emissions by 2045. With the building sector accounting for about one-third of O’ahu’s greenhouse gas emissions, “this benchmarking program is expected to reduce the electricity consumption of large buildings by nearly 7% by 2030 and curb greenhouse emissions on the island,” according to the county’s website. New Jersey. Under a state law enacted in 2018, commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet will be required to benchmark their energy and water usage annually. The deadline for initial reporting, using data from the 2022 calendar year, is Oct. 23, 2023. This action is “critical to increasing the transparency of this usage and consumption and to promoting market-driven increases in energy efficiency. It also elevates the public’s understanding of energy usage, allowing consumers to make well-informed decisions,” according to New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. Yardi, the 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award winner, helps hundreds of commercial building operators across North America benchmark energy and water in thousands of buildings annually. See how Yardi Pulse Energy Benchmarking simplifies ENERGY STAR data collection, reporting and certifications. The Yardi Energy team stands ready to help building owners benefit from the industry’s most advanced energy management technology and stay up to date on evolving reporting...