Show Off Your Energy Efficiency
As a landlord or building owner and leader in the community, showing off your energy efficiency encourages other people in the community to follow suit. Seeing your role as an “ambassador” not only to tenants, but to all in the community, for energy efficiency may increase tenant willingness to engage in green initiatives as well.
Currently, there is no disclosure policy in place for the state of Minnesota. An energy use disclosure mandate would require realtors, property owners, or managers to provide data on building energy usage to prospective tenants or home buyers. This disclosure could include actual historical utility data, averages of the energy use intensity, or estimates based on equipment and other characteristics to inform the potential occupants of their expected expenses. These energy use disclosures increase the transparency of true building costs and protect tenants and purchasers.
An energy use disclosure mandate can be a mechanism to incentivize investment in energy efficiency and renewable or alternative energy sources. Tenants and home buyers decision making is influenced by low energy costs and property owners respond to this market pressure to make improvements that save occupants money and carbon emissions.
Today there are a variety of options to recognize energy efficient achievements and further promote your building’s environmental commitments. Set the stage from the beginning with prospective tenants that efficiency and comfort are top priorities. Whenever possible, include this message in communications collateral.
- Display or communicate ENERGY STAR scores, as well as any green certifications (such as LEED) whenever available.
- Share building upgrades that have occurred within the past three years and provide high-level strategy for continuous improvement in the near-term to inform high-performance building characteristics.
- Whenever possible, demonstrate how elements in the building can reduce operating expenses and improve occupant comfort over the length of the lease.
- Offer green leases (also called aligned leases, high-performance leases, or energy-efficient leases) are rental agreements in which tenants commit to or gain incentives by participating in water/energy conservation, waste reduction and recycling, use of nonhazardous cleaning products, or other sustainable actions. Green leases create win-win agreements for building owners and tenants by equitably aligning the costs and benefits of efficiency investments for both parties. .
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