Green Buildings Boost Economy while Slashing Energy Costs and GHGs
A new report from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) demonstrates the value of green buildings to the Canadian economy. According to Green Building in Canada, the industry generated close to 300,000 direct full-time jobs and more than $23 billion of gross domestic product in 2014. As policies emerge at all levels of government to encourage green buildings, these numbers will continue to grow while certifications like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and The Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada’s BOMA BEST program help capture the value of green.
Building owners who take advantage of Efficiency Capital (EC) financing for retrofits find there are more credits awarded for energy efficiency than any other type of measure under LEED for Existing Buildings. With 72 potential credits to be earned in the Energy and Atmosphere Category, a building could target LEED Silver certification with these measures alone.
The value of green is also reflected in the market. A recent TD Economic report, found green condominiums in the Toronto area command a significant premium on re-sale. Another recent report on green certification published in the Journal of Portfolio Management demonstrated the return on investment goes well beyond lower energy costs. In Canada, occupancy rates are 18.7 percent higher in buildings with both LEED and BOMA BEST certification. Buildings that achieve BOMA BEST Gold (formerly Level 3) or higher also boast greater tenant satisfaction scores, higher tenant renewal rates and fewer rent concessions.
EC is committed to catalyzing efficiency upgrades to existing buildings that reduce energy costs by 10 to 40% while boosting the green economy. Retrofitting is also essential for meeting government and business targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Energy Savings Performance Agreement TM (ESPATM) offered by EC allows large building owners to finance energy efficiency retrofits, paid for from future utility cost savings. This innovative non-debt financing tool provides up to 100% of the funds required to do comprehensive retrofits and includes third party insurance. EC captures most of the energy savings over the life of the contract and guarantees clients’ payments will not exceed their verified energy savings. All projects to date have met or exceeded energy savings targets. The ESPATM also includes ongoing performance monitoring, building user education and project oversight. After contracts end, clients keep all energy savings and benefit from the enhanced value of a better performing building.