A Business Case for Pursuing an Energy Star Rating for Your Commercial Building
The Energy Star program, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, is “the most successful voluntary energy conservation movement in history.”
The statistics back up that claim, and there’s no doubt that, strictly from a branding and marketing perspective, few other organizations have accomplished more in putting energy efficiency and conservation in the public eye.
But is there really any business value in pursuing an Energy Star rating for your commercial building? Is doing so just a matter of “feeling good” or “doing the right thing” or is there a business case to be made?
While obtaining an Energy Star rating has its “feel good” aspects to it, and could even conceivably help in marketing your business or attracting tenants and investors, the business value goes beyond that. Here are some reasons you may not yet have considered:
Energy efficiency results in lower operating costs
The cost of heating, cooling, lighting, and otherwise powering a commercial building is consistently one of the highest operating costs a commercial building owner needs to face. Considering that up to 33% of the energy the average building consumes is wasted due to inefficiencies, you can probably put a dollar figure on the potential savings your building could see once improvements are made to qualify for an Energy Star rating.
Every building is unique, but it’s not uncommon for owners to find millions of dollars in savings every year just by reducing wasted energy.
The potential savings becomes even more impressive when you consider the relatively low cost of many of the necessary improvements. In many cases, these simple and inexpensive fixes pay for themselves in the first year or two.
How’s that for a business case? Pursuing an Energy Star rating can raise your company’s bottom line by millions of dollars.
Energy Star provides unparalleled educational support
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed the Energy Star program as a simple and intuitive engine for change. Part of that effort involves educating the public about energy saving principles and how they can and should be applied to everyday life. With resources available including case studies, statistics, industry benchmarks, as well as access to experts who have likely already gone through what you’re going through in their journey to greater energy efficiency, the program provides a level of educational support you’d be hardpressed to find elsewhere.
For one powerful example of the caliber of resources available, take a look at the Energy Star Guidelines for Energy Management, which is always available for free download from EnergyStar.org.
This means not only that heading down the road toward an Energy Star rating doesn’t have to be a stressful series of trials and errors for your company, but you’ll also need to spend less time and money figuring out how to improve energy efficiency, and more investment in actually doing it.
An Energy Star rating can boost rent and occupancy
Based on independent academic research, Energy Star can prove that commercial buildings that invest in obtaining their rating can experience higher rental rates, increased asset value, improved occupancy, and greater marketability than similar buildings that are not rated.
Various studies have placed the differences as high as:
- 16% higher rental rate
- 6% higher occupancy rate
- 31% higher sale price
Compared to the relatively low cost of obtaining an Energy Star rating, these figures are truly impressive.
“Doing the right thing” has its own real world value
It depends on how you go about it, of course, but being environmentally conscious and active in conservation activities has proven to be a commercially viable marketing strategy for many businesses.
Many consumers today are conscientiously working to support environmentally responsible companies through their buying habits. For example, Millennials’ buying habits were studied in a recent Nielsen survey which revealed that sustainability came across as one of the key deciding factors in which companies this huge generation chooses to support.
Another survey by BBMG determined that 36.4% of customers consider themselves “conscious consumers” who make day-to-day purchasing decisions based at least in part on their perception of a company’s environmental responsibility.
Letting the world know that your company takes ecological responsibility and sustainability seriously by placing the Energy Star seal on your commercial buildings can win you customers and improve customer loyalty over the long term.
So, the facts support that there’s a real business case for pursuing an Energy Star rating for your commercial building. It can lower operating costs, improve rental rates, occupancy rates, and resale value of the building, and it can even boost marketing efforts. Getting your building Energy Star rated makes good business sense, and it’s the right thing to do. For a full rundown of how an Energy Star rating would affect your building, contact us today.