EIA Updates Jul07

EIA Updates

Here’s the latest of our periodic updates of news and trends reported by the Energy Information Administration, a statistical and analytical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy. Conflict spurs fuel price uncertainty Fuel price projections are uncertain, due in part to the Russia-Ukraine war’s potential impact on nations, energy producers and markets. With global inventories of crude oil, natural gas, and coal below average before the war, U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit multiyear highs in March. EIA forecasts that the average inflation-adjusted prices of gasoline and diesel this summer will be the highest since summer 2014. Production could temper prices in ‘23 EIA projects that U.S. oil production will average 12.4 million barrels per day in 2023, surpassing the record high for domestic crude oil production set in 2019, with domestic crude oil production increasing steadily between 2021 and 2023. Crude oil inventories will reach 465 million barrels at the end of 2023, which is about 11% more than inventories at the end of 2021. “We expect global demand for petroleum products to return to and surpass pre-pandemic levels this year, but crude oil production grows at a faster rate in our forecasts,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley. “We expect that as crude oil production increases, inventories will begin to replenish and help push prices lower for gasoline, jet fuel, and other products in the short term.” By September 2023, U.S. natural gas production will hit an all-time high daily average. Coal consumption, meanwhile, will fall by 2% in 2022 and remain relatively unchanged in 2023. Home appliances getting smarter EIA’s recently released 2020 Residential Energy Consumption Survey offers a look at electricity-consuming devices used in American homes. The survey reveals that nearly half of U.S. households used LED lighting in...

ESG Ready

According to Naseem Wenzel, Executive Director and Head of Real Estate Assets at Lionpoint Group, “ESG is coming fast and furious, which leaves investment managers, real estate owners and operators and service providers in a position of either being reactive or proactive.” What position is your company in? In OSCRE’s May 25 Innovation Forum, ESG: Insights to Assess Your Readiness, the panel, moderated by Wenzel, discussed what’s needed to move the industry forward. The speakers represented “a mix of perspectives from change leaders in the industry” including Chris Devine, head of client analytics, Cushman & Wakefield, Rick Ferrino, senior VP technology, Blackstone and Soheil Pourhashemi, senior VP business technology, Brookfield Properties. When asked individually about their company’s approach to ESG, the panelists touched on creating long term strategies, dealing with resource issues including staffing and training to focus on ESG and the overall need to automate data collection, analytics and reporting. The speakers agreed that evolving practices and focusing on how data flows — including real-time reporting from assets, are important initiatives. With regard to governance, the panel discussed measuring and normalizing data, creating data standards and developing organizational maturity. One speaker commented that ESG practices are integral to building a resilient business and creating value for investors. ESG is also a critical aspect of capital fundraising. For service providers, the focus is on the occupier side and how to get data standards in place, with information flowing from investors to occupiers. All the panelists agreed that automating data collection and reporting is key. Survey responses on ESG readiness   In OSCRE’s recap of the session, the audience’s answers to the polling questions included these key takeaways: 53% of respondents described their organization’s level of preparedness as just getting started and 0% reported that...

National Stars Jun28

National Stars

Yardi recently earned the 2022 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program, in recognition of its longstanding commitment to protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency achievements. The company’s accomplishments over the past year include helping more than 200 clients benchmark energy in 5,000+ buildings, sharing ENERGY STAR data to help clients access green financing for buildings, earning ENERGY STAR certification for two corporate headquarters buildings in Santa Barbara, Calif., and providing energy classes for more than 6,000 client representatives during its virtual Yardi Advanced Solutions Conference. Yardi shared the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year spotlight with organizations that also distinguished themselves in energy stewardship in 2021. They include: Industry associations including BOMA International, a trade association for commercial real estate professionals. BOMA International promoted ENERGY STAR resources to help its members meet sustainability objectives. BOMA’s Georgia chapter also received an award for promoting ENERGY STAR values in articles, videos and website content. IREM, an international commercial real estate organization, earned recognition for launching certified sustainable property programs and courses. Yardi has presented its smart energy solutions at BOMA and IREM conferences and provided a grant for BOMA’s Water and Waste Challenge program.Commercial building interests such as global real estate services and investment firm CBRE, which achieved ENERGY STAR certification for 174 properties and benchmarked 5,941 buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®; real estate investment manager Nuveen Real Estate, which delivered sustainability and ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager training to 100% of its internal staff; professional services provider and investment manager JLL, which delivered ENERGY STAR messages to 1.3 million people through its social media channels; and Vornado Realty Trust, a fully integrated REIT that benchmarked 100% of its assets for energy, 99%...

Energy Honors May08

Energy Honors

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. As a Service and Product Provider, Yardi is honored to receive the 2022 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 four consecutive years. The award 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. Highest EPA Accolade The Sustained Excellence award is the highest honor bestowed by the ENERGY STAR program. Its winners have made a long-term commitment to fighting climate change and protecting public health through energy efficiency. They are among the nation’s leaders in driving value for the environment, the economy and the American people. Partner of the Year winners are not only promoters of ENERGY STAR, but also are especially adept at operating within the programs and work with ENERGY STAR to make ongoing improvements. The award acknowledges Yardi’s efforts to educate and support clients with benchmarking services and technology solutions across a variety of real estate sectors. Energy wins According to the EPA, in 2020 alone, more than 270,000 commercial properties used EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® tool to measure and track their energy use, water use, and/or waste and materials. These buildings comprise more than 25 billion square feet of floorspace more than a quarter of all the commercial floorspace in the nation. In 2021, Yardi helped more than 200 clients benchmark energy in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for over 5,000 buildings, a 42 percent increase from the previous year. Yardi helped clients benchmark water in over 4,000 buildings, a 33 percent increase from 2020. In addition, Yardi actively promotes ENERGY STAR benefits, publishing 70 articles and providing resources for benchmarking energy performance and energy management such as webinars, client conferences courses, executive briefings sessions and other activities. “We’re so proud to receive this top honor from the EPA for the fourth consecutive year, and we again applaud our clients’ success. We look forward to continuing to help our clients and the real estate industry reap the benefits of using ENERGY STAR to meet their business and sustainability goals,” said Akshai Rao, vice president at Yardi. Learn more Find out how Yardi empowers real estate companies to meet energy and sustainability goals. See the complete list of 2022 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award...

Earth Day 2022 Apr22

Earth Day 2022

Earth Day began on April 22, 1970, as a response to environmental deterioration. Inspired by the 1969 Santa Barbara offshore oil spill and other catastrophes, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.) teamed with Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.) and activist Denis Hayes to organize a series of college teach-ins. The inaugural event went far beyond campuses, drawing 20 million Americans – 10% of the population – to demonstrations and teach-ins at schools, parks and auditoriums. “Pogo” cartoonist Walt Kelly created a promotional poster. New York City Mayor John Lindsay closed Fifth Avenue to cars and gave an impassioned speech. President and Mrs. Nixon planted a tree on the White House grounds. April 22 became affixed on calendars as Earth Day. Happy earth day banner to celebrate environmental safety One of Earth Day’s enduring legacies is providing a common frame of reference for a disparate range of animal conservation groups, anti-pollution activists and others. “I think the most important thing that Earth Day did was to take all of those different threads and weave them together into this fabric of modern environmentalism, to help them understand that they were operating from similar sets of values,” says Hayes, who remains active in environmental causes. “Earth Day has grown into a secular holiday recognized by billions of people and which has no goal beyond building a better world,” Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell said in a 2020 profile of Hayes. This year on April 22, under the theme of “Invest in Our Planet,” millions of private citizens, business leaders, government officials, academics and students around the world will recognize “our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all,” according to EARTHDAY.org, a nonprofit that arose from the initial event. EARTHDAY.org will...

Milestones + Deadlines Apr20

Milestones + Deadlines...

In 2019 we reported on Local Law 97, a key element of the Climate Mobilization Act enacted in New York City in May of that year. Described by the Urban Green Council as “the most ambitious climate legislation for buildings enacted by any city in the world,” Local Law 97 aims to drastically reduce carbon emissions from buildings, which account for more than 70% of the city’s emissions. With the 2024 initial compliance milestone on the horizon, the time seems right for a recap. The ordinance imposes stringent carbon emission limits for most commercial properties over 25,000 square feet. It will impact more than 57,000 buildings and mandate reductions of 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 through caps, energy upgrades and retrofits. The first set of emissions caps carry stiff financial penalties for noncompliance – potentially millions of dollars in some cases. The first cap will go into effect in 2024. The city is responsible for setting new rules and regulations by the beginning of 2023. A new Office of Building Energy and Emissions Performance will clarify building categories, calculate emissions formulas before the first caps take effect and establish emissions limits for 2035-2039, 2040-2049 and beyond. The city also created a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program to help building owners finance energy retrofits and renewable energy projects, such as green roofs, solar energy systems, window insulation, upgraded HVAC systems, improvements to sealing and air ventilation. By the time the law’s tougher requirements take hold in 2030 and later, more labor- and capital-intensive upgrades will be necessary. Some easy fixes Some of the mandatory fixes are fairly easy, such as replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, insulating heating pipes, covering or removing window air conditioner units in the winter, tuning and operating boilers correctly,...

Mining ESG Data Apr13

Mining ESG Data

How can property owners meet the growing demand for environmental, social and governance performance accountability from residents, tenants and investors? Yardi client representatives who lead ESG reporting for their organizations and an official from GRESB, the ESG benchmark for real estate assets, recently offered some insight. Juliette Apicella, director of sustainability for Atlanta-based apartment owner and manager Gables Residential Services, was one of three industry experts who appeared on a YASC Global panel. “More investors are interested in details about our ESG policies and achievements,” she said. That prompted the company to use ESG as “a tool that helps us monitor our assets’ environmental performance as a driver of returns.” Gables has stepped up its recruitment of employees, partners and residents in the effort to incorporate environmental priorities into its operations. Another panelist, Jennifer Plesnicar, vice president for Chicago-area industrial developer and manager CenterPoint Properties Trust, sounded a similar note: “ESG is becoming more important each year” among multiple company stakeholders. “How a company responds to ESG expectations can impact operations ranging from borrowing rates to talent attraction and tenant retention,” she said. The widespread attention to ESG is “pushing the real estate industry forward,” said the third panelist, Dan Winters, head of Americas for GRESB, which collects and validates data and disseminates it to more than 150 institutional real estate investors around the world. “Getting accurate ESG data, rolling it up to the portfolio level and sharing it with the industry increases insight for a company, which appeals to its institutional investors, and also provides better outcomes for GRESB participants.” Overcoming data gathering challenges All panelists agreed that the principal challenge to managing an organization’s ESG performance is gathering, tracking and disseminating the consumption data necessary to formulate ESG actions. “A lot of...

Yardi Buildings Earn Mar15

Yardi Buildings Earn

Yardi has successfully incorporated energy efficiency at multiple locations across the property management industry – including the home front, where the company recently earned separate ENERGY STAR® certifications for two office buildings at its corporate headquarters campus in Santa Barbara, Calif. ENERGY STAR, a voluntary U.S. government program that certifies buildings and consumer products as meeting certain standards of energy efficiency, rated one building a score of 86, signifying that it’s more energy efficient than 86% of similar properties nationwide. The second building received a score of 80. The certification threshold is 75%. Yardi benchmarked the two buildings, which encompass 170,000 square feet, in Portfolio Manager®, an ENERGY STAR interactive online resource management tool that measures and compares building energy use. On average, certified buildings use 35% less energy and generate 35% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers, according to ENERGY STAR, which is jointly managed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy. The buildings’ certifications continue a years-long series of Yardi energy efficiency achievements. For example, the company helps hundreds of clients benchmark energy and water consumption in thousands of buildings, participates annually in Energy Efficiency Day, and promotes  energy optimization software in client conferences, industry publications and other educational venues. In 2021 Yardi received a Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence Award, the ENERGY STAR program’s highest honor, after earning Partner of the Year designation for three consecutive years. Also that year, the company earned a regional Energy Project of the Year award from the Assn. of Energy Engineers for helping to optimize HVAC performance in a 58-story building in New York City. Referring to the building certifications, Joe Consolo, industry principal for Yardi, said, “Yardi is pleased to meet ENERGY STAR standards in its own operations using...

Sports Arenas Mar10

Sports Arenas

Sports arenas attract vast attention with their aesthetic qualities, luxurious amenities, association with high-profile teams and iconic imprint on city skylines. But did you know that beyond their opulence, many modern arenas represent leadership in sustainability? “Many sports venues have jumped on the sustainability bandwagon to construct or renovate their structure in a race to minimise their carbon footprint, preserve their green legacy and take the lead in innovation,” says London-based Climate Action, which partners with business, government and public entities on sustainability projects. Sports arena sustainability is a global trend. Examples include: The Johan Cruijff ArenA (formerly Amsterdam ArenA), home of the Ajax football club. The Netherlands’ largest stadium employs more than 4,200 solar panels and a wind turbine. Its main building includes an energy-generating escalator and an energy system powered by second-life batteries from used electric vehicles.Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons play their home games. In November 2017, soon after it opened, Mercedes-Benz became the first professional sports stadium to receive a platinum Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certificate for meeting rigid standards for carbon, energy, water, waste, materials and other factors. The arena’s energy consumption is reportedly 29% less than what the average stadium consumes thanks to LED lighting and 4,000 rooftop solar PV panels. A stormwater management system can store over 2 million gallons onsite, preventing flooding in surrounding areas.Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers since 2014 has earned two LEED certifications, including the first Gold LEED certification awarded for a stadium that hosts a professional team, plus a second Gold certification for operations and maintenance. Levi’s also incorporates 1,000 solar elements and sources 78% of its food from within 150 miles of the stadium. Seattle’s Climate Pledge...

ESG Insights Feb25

ESG Insights

Are you ready for new ESG regulatory requirements and increasing investor demands? OSCRE Innovation Forum’s recent webinar, Constructing an ESG Framework for the Future, provided expert insight into this critical initiative. Moderated by Lisa Stanley, CEO at OSCRE, the panelists were Dan Winters, Head of Americas at GRESB, The Global ESG Benchmark, Naseem Wenzel, Strategy + Innovation Lead Partner at Cohn Reznick and Daniel Egan, Senior Vice President, Energy and Sustainability at Vornado Realty Trust. Read on for some important takeaways. Top ESG challenges A polling question during the webinar asked participants to identify the top challenge they face for ESG initiatives. 42% cited inconsistent data across platforms, tied with 42% that stated building skills to implement ESG initiatives are the top challenges. In its January e-newsletter, OSCRE responded to the polling results, “Inconsistent data across platforms is not a new phenomenon for organizations…While investment funds report their activities including zero-carbon targets and other environmental impact initiatives through their Annual Reports and GRESB benchmark reports among others, the information that’s reported is gathered at the property level. This need for information confirms common ground — the need for standardized information for property owners, occupiers and investors that inform decisions and provide insight for risk assessment.” Clearly, there’s a need for not only impeccable data from a centralized location (a single source of truth), but also the ability to automatically extract and properly analyze it for meaningful application. This applies to ESG efforts as for all other operational processes. Good corporate governance Organizations must assess where they are today — including the level of responsible corporate leadership, to create a roadmap for where they want to go. Having an “ESG culture” across your business is key, meaning ESG is part of everyone’s job, as is...

Commercial Retrofits Feb15

Commercial Retrofits

It’s never too late to give an existing structure a greener lease on life. Retrofits offer commercial building managers an opportunity to improve efficiency and drive cost savings. If you’re just getting started, the four retrofit methods below are a great starting point for sustainable practices. Observe, benchmark and improve your energy consumption. Monthly bills are not enough to accurately determine the efficiency of a commercial site. Retrofits connected to the internet of things (IoT) provide real-time insights into energy consumption. Explore usage based on subleased portions or the entire building. What’s best, you can implement IoT retrofits at a speed that matches your budget. Commercial managers often begin with submeters. Submetering offers insights into building performance while facilitating average savings of 2-5%. Implement supportive technology such as energy benchmarking to help you meet compliance regulations for ESG platforms like ENERGY STAR®. Promote water efficiency regardless of your location. Dry, arid regions have long prioritized end-user water conservation. Interest has grown nationwide: efficiency offers economic benefits to all managers regardless of the site’s location. Retrofits for cooling towers and chillers are a great place to implement efficiency measures. Such retrofits will have the most notable impact since they can consume tens of thousands of gallons each day. Smaller projects, such as fixtures, may follow. Streamline HVAC operations to reduce waste and increase comfort. The efficiencies of HVAC systems decline naturally over time. Promoting optimal operation and occupant comfort requires consistent maintenance and smart controls. Networked controllers and cloud-based management software enable you to monitor and manage usage. Smart thermostats and monitoring technology can offer up to 30% energy savings while slashing future maintenance costs. Improve indoor air quality (IAQ). Americans spend about 90% of their time inside. Indoor air contains a higher concentration of...

Looking Ahead Feb14

Looking Ahead

We compiled predictions from expert observers to get a sense of what’s in store for the real estate industry in 2022. Excerpts follow. Foreseeing a ‘whirlwind housing market’ Pandemic-ignited home-buying, driven by supply shortage and low mortgage rates, shows no signs of slowing down. “We expect a whirlwind 2022 for the housing market,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, with home sales increasing 6.6% and home prices 2.9% above 2021 highs despite a small uptick in inventory. While affordability, rising interest rates, and supply and labor shortages will continue to pose challenges, “home buyers should find the coming months to be more advantageous than any time in 2021. While sellers remain in a very strong position, price stabilization and the continuation of competitive interest rates may bring some welcome relief to buyers in the new year,” notes Nick Bailey, president of RE/MAX LLC. Home living tops investment U.S. real estate remains among the most attractive and largest asset classes for investors and families alike. “For the second year, homeowners have told us that their main reason for taking on projects around the home is to better meet their needs. Before the pandemic, return on investment was the primary motivation. This is a huge shift and something we know will continue throughout 2022, especially as people continue to spend more time at home,” says Robert Morgenstern, principal of New York City-based Canvas Property Group. Tech amps up Property management technology’s capabilities and use will continue to grow for reasons of convenience and social distancing. “With the right data collection tools and overall acceptance by industry professionals, real estate will greatly benefit from the increased use of technology in 2022,” according to Paul Ryll, owner of Oscar Mike Mobile Appraisers of Greenville, S.C. And with...

22 Energy Outlook Feb04

22 Energy Outlook

Global energy demand surpassed pre-COVID 19 levels in 2021. Energy was the top-performing S&P 500 sector that year. With energy demand still on the rise, the energy sector stands to grow even more in 2022. The Balance Sheet sampled expert predictions of what’s ahead for renewables and the rest of the energy industry in 2022. We will keep tabs on key developments throughout the year. Economist Intelligence, a policy analysis and consulting group, predicts that global energy consumption will rise by 2.2% in 2022 as economies recover from the pandemic. All types of energy except nuclear power will benefit, although “energy companies will need to undertake an urgent review of their strategies next year, as governments and investors ramp up pressure to cut emissions.” Kathryn Downey Miller, president of energy industry analysis firm BTU Analytics, echoes that assessment. “Despite a strong profit outlook heading into 2022, enormous pressure is coming from providers of capital and other stakeholders to evolve business models for the new energy economy,” she said in an editorial published in December. That pressure is a principal reason that “renewable energy growth is poised to accelerate in 2022, as concern for climate change and support for environmental, sustainability, and governance considerations grow and demand for cleaner energy sources from most market segments (residential, commercial, and industrial consumers) accelerates,” according to an energy industry outlook report prepared by Deloitte. Renewable generation expands Renewables were the only energy source for which demand increased in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. Renewable electricity generation in 2021 expanded by over 8% in 2021. Record levels of wind and solar generation additions are expected to come online in 2022, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence, which studies energy markets. The adoption of renewable energy sources will be...

New Energy Regulations Jan21

New Energy Regulations

A raft of new and updated energy-related regulations across the U.S. will go on the books this year.  Complying with them requires property managers to use specialized platforms capable of collecting utility billing data for an entire building and reporting it to ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®, which tracks energy and water consumption and compares it to similar buildings. New energy benchmarking and reporting laws are constantly being enacted in jurisdictions across the country. The Yardi Energy team monitors those changes to help clients seamlessly comply.  Examples of new regulations that Yardi will help clients comply with include: An ordinance in Chula Vista, Calif., requiring annual ENERGY STAR® energy and water consumption benchmarking, with 2021 data due by March 20.  The requirement covers residential and commercial properties with gross floor areas of at least 50,000 square feet and includes reporting of utilities paid by tenants. In 2023 the reporting threshold will decrease to 20,000 square feet.A Colorado state-wide regulation that requires owners of commercial and residential properties at least 50,000 square feet to report all energy and water use in their buildings, including utilities paid by tenants. The regulation also levies a $100 benchmarking fee for each building. Regulation updates that go into force this year include: A lower threshold for annual energy and water reporting in Fort Collins, Colo., from 10,000 square feet for commercial buildings and 20,000 square feet for residential buildings to 5,000 square feet for both.Similar threshold reductions in Reno, Nev., from 50,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet; and Columbus, Ohio, from 100,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet.A suspension of the Commercial Building Energy Reporting ordinance in Portland, Ore., to April 2023. Residential buildings are already exempt. Other reporting requirements impact properties in Canada. For example, while the Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking regulation in Ontario will remain unchanged in 2022, the reporting threshold will decrease to 50,000 square feet from 100,00 square feet in 2023 for reporting data collected in 2022. Learn how Yardi benchmarking services help property owners across all real estate markets use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to comply with a rapidly shifting regulatory...

Climate Protection Partnerships Jan05

Climate Protection Partnerships...

It started with Green Lights. That was the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) inaugural Climate Partnerships Programs initiative in 1991. Since then, Climate Partnership Programs has engaged tens of thousands of public and private organizations, generated billions of dollars of investments in energy efficiency and clean energy, saved American consumers more than $500 billion in energy costs and prevented more than 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Green Lights – which encourages organizations to use energy-efficient lighting technologies in their offices, factories, stores and warehouses – is one of more than two dozen Climate Partnership Programs. Vital to meeting national greenhouse gas reduction, carbon-pollution free electricity and net-zero emissions targets, the programs include: ENERGY STAR®, which identifies energy-efficient products and practices for consumers and businesses in 33 industrial sectors and 840 utilities. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR, managed jointly by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy, and its partners have helped American families and businesses save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid more than $450 billion in energy costs and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. In 2019 alone, ENERGY STAR drove reductions of 220,000 short tons of sulfur dioxide, 220,000 short tons of nitrogen oxides, and 27,000 short tons of fine particulate matter. ENERGY STAR product sales exceed $100 billion annually.The State and Local Climate and Energy Program, which offers free tools, data and technical expertise to help state, local and tribal governments achieve their environmental, energy, equity and economic objectives.The Green Power Partnership, a source of information and technical assistance for companies using green power. The program has helped prevent nearly 280 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.Methane Emissions Reduction Partnership Programs, which promote the cost-effective recovery and use of methane by sectors such as agriculture,...

Energy News Updates Dec01

Energy News Updates

We last summarized news and trends produced by the Energy Information Administration in April. Here’s some of what’s new from the EIA, a statistical and analytical agency of the U.S. Department of Energy that collects, analyzes and disseminates energy information. Commercial buildings grow larger and more energy-conscious Commercial buildings in the U.S. are getting larger and more oriented toward energy efficiency, according to data from 2018 released in September. The number of commercial buildings grew 6% from 2012 to 2018 while total floorspace increased by 11%. Commercial assets more commonly include features such as LED lighting, which is used in more than 2.5 million commercial buildings, and electric vehicle charging stations, which are available at more than one-third of buildings over 500,000 square feet. Renewable energy share grows Renewable energy is expected to account for 23% of U.S. electricity generation through 2022, up from 20% in 2020. About 50 gigawatts of solar and wind capacity is scheduled to come online nationwide during that period, with 2022 as the first year that growth in utility solar capacity will outpace wind capacity growth. Retail sales of electricity to the U.S. industrial sector will increase by 5.1% in 2021, a major element of the overall increase of 2.8%. Electricity sales will be somewhat lower (2.1%) in the commercial sector as many workers continue working from home. Batteries amp up U.S. battery power capacity grew by 35% in 2020 and tripled over the preceding five years, with much of the growth coming from energy systems co-located with or connected to solar projects. EIA projects that battery power growth will continue, with utilities reporting plans to install more than 10,000 megawatts of additional large-scale battery power capacity from 2021 to 2023. “Energy stored in batteries can react to second-to-second fluctuations in the electric grid, protecting grid power quality and improving the grid’s efficiency,” said EIA Acting Administrator Steve Nalley. “Battery systems can help store electricity generated from solar or other renewables so that electricity is available at times when demand is peaking, but generation from renewables is lower.” Natural gas price volatility looms Concerns about winter weather are contributing to volatile natural gas prices. “Mild weather has limited natural gas consumption and helped bring our storage levels closer to average in recent weeks, but cold winter weather could continue to put upward pressure on prices,” Nalley said in November. “Winter temperatures will be the key driver of natural gas demand, inventories, and ultimately prices.” Despite relatively high natural gas prices, the U.S. electric power sector continues to use significant amounts of natural gas for generation, with exports of liquefied natural gas in October 2021 rising 37% above the October 2020 level. Stay tuned for more EIA updates in 2022. Meantime, learn how Yardi software solutions help residential and commercial property owners manage their energy consumption efficiently and meet ENERGY...

Energy Innovation Nov20

Energy Innovation

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which performs R&D for the U.S Department of Energy, sponsors initiatives by businesses and academic institutions to improve energy efficiency.  Here’s the latest of our periodic summaries of active ARPA-E projects. Creating a new version of wood Alternative materials creator InventWood of College Park, Md., is working to develop lightweight 3D corrugated honeycomb structures to replace metal counterparts. 3D wood has one-third the density and one-fourteenth the cost of aluminum with the same mechanical strength. And the proposal could produce a big sustainability benefit as well – a 90% reduction of CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process. Adding the human touch to energy savings About 75% of U.S. homes have smart meters, according to Smart Energy International. While giving homeowners greater access to their energy-use data is a positive step, a team Stanford University researchers believes that optimizing energy and cost savings with that information will “require an understanding of human behavior.” Using human behavior to optimize energy and cost savings could “transform the way Americans interact with our energy-use data,” the team says. A custom-built web-based platform collects historical electricity data for experiments to learn what triggers homeowners to respond. The experiments include financial incentives and a calculator that illustrates the potential savings of efficient appliances. Once completed, the platform and new behavior experiments could help homeowners save energy, improve their energy efficiency and reduce utility bills. Making the power grid cleaner ARPA-E is funding four projects to develop technology to remove sulfur hexafluoride, a gas that’s utilized as an electrical insulator and arc suppressant, from the U.S. power grid. It’s a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Proposals from the funding recipients – the University of Connecticut, Georgia Tech, GE Grid Solutions of Charleroi, Pa., and...

Simplify Your Job Nov09

Simplify Your Job

Have you been navigating ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager on your own? There is a better way. Get to know the ENERGY STAR Benchmarking Team for simplified and improved reporting. Meet your ENERGY STAR reporting experts ENERGY STAR Benchmarking Team is located in the Yardi Atlanta and Colorado Springs offices to conveniently serve clients in different time zones. Yardi’s ENERGY STAR team consists of eight experts in all aspects of ENERGY STAR reporting and the many systems that these reports feed. The department is annually recognized as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and received the Sustained Excellence Award in 2021. The team supports client use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency system.  The team assists with regulatory compliance, finance and sustainability reporting requirements. They collaborate with clients to setup and maintain portfolios of properties in Portfolio Manager. This includes syncing data from ENERGY STAR with reporting systems designated for each property.  The existence of the department embodies part of the Yardi mission statement, “take care of our clients.” Randy Moss, senior team leader, CSD, has been with Yardi for nine years. He joined Yardi as part of a larger acquisition but has continued on due to company culture. “Yardi is a great place to work and encourages everyone to seek ways to better take care of our clients,” says Moss. “ENERGY STAR Benchmarking started as a client request and today serves over 4,000 properties for Yardi clients. It is very rewarding to support our clients using ENERGY STAR for reporting to all the different systems needed.” Wait, Yardi offers support for ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager? Yep! The team works synergistically with other departments within Yardi to support clients’ reporting needs. The team works with utilities, industry groups and regulators...

Energy Efficiency Day Nov09

Energy Efficiency Day...

On Oct. 6, Energy Efficiency Day addressed a topic with vast local, regional, national and global implications throughout the year. Yardi was pleased to observe the event with more than 800 local governments, universities, organizations, corporations and utilities. This year’s event coincided with the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) climate partnerships program, a collaboration between private and government organizations that has prevented more than 6 billion metrics tons of greenhouse gas emissions – more than all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. “Energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, cut consumer bills and reduce pollution. Energy efficiency is also an economic engine, supporting over two million jobs nationwide in manufacturing, construction and other fields,” according to the Energy Efficiency Day organization’s website. Energy Efficiency Day, an early-October fixture since 2016, promotes awareness by encouraging home and business energy audits, energy-saving competitions, success story sharing using the #EEDay2021 hashtag and more. Participants seek to promote easy-to-implement measures for businesses and individuals, including: Scheduling regular inspections for refrigeration equipment, furnaces, heat pumps and other equipment.Turning on computers, monitors, printers and fax machines only when they’re needed.Locating and sealing air leaks around the house. Even hidden drafts can hurt your energy efficiency.Staying cool in school. Did you know that the average 200-square-foot dorm room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 2,000 miles? Consider setting rooms with individual temperature control a few degrees higher to reduce the cooling system’s energy use.Purchasing home appliances carrying the ENERGY STAR® label, which certifies adherence to strict EPA energy-efficiency standards.Turning off lights when leaving the room and consider swapping regular light bulbs for LEDs.Running ceiling fans clockwise and at low speeds during...

Energy Efficiency Oct29

Energy Efficiency

Are energy efficient features the norm or the exception in your state? How can that impact your property performance and marketing? We’ve got the inside scoop for you as we dive into the latest report on energy efficiency by state. WalletHub report offers insights into energy efficiency by state Personal finance company WalletHub released a report that gathered and analyzed data from government agencies in the continental U.S. Researchers considered data on automobile and building efficiency. States were then ranked in those categories, as well as overall efficiency. Operating within a high-efficiency state has its benefits. The report concludes that household and community-level increases in energy efficiency “decrease long-term costs for everyone.” Increased efficiency translates into energy savings and more resilient buildings and cars as well.   Best and Worst Overall Utah ranked #1 in overall energy efficiency, receiving a score of 83.91 points out of 100.  New York was hot on its tail with 82.05 followed by Massachusetts and Minnesota. Rhode Island wraps up the top five most efficient states with 76.45 points. The south is home to the least energy efficient states, with South Carolina leading the pack with a 21.49. With increasing efficiency comes West Virginia with a 24.20 proceeded by Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana at 31.22. Best and worst housing efficiency Among residential properties, Utah re-appears on the list as most efficient at 83.91. This time, it is trailed by Minnesota, New York, Colorado and Vermont. South Carolina also reappeared on this list as the worst in-home energy efficiency. Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana and Georgia were also nestled at the bottom of the list as well. While local incentives impact efficiency measures during development and construction, there are other ways to promote efficiency. Building operators can improve building efficiency through ENERGY...