The Energy Star program is “the most successful voluntary energy conservation movement in history.” But is it just a feel-good thing to do, or is there any real business value in pursuing an Energy Star rating for commercial buildings?
As you’ll see, while obtaining an Energy Star rating definitely does feel good, there’s also a solid business case for doing so. For a more details about the Energy Star rating, contact us today.
There are at least four excellent reasons why Chicago-area commercial buildings should go after an Energy Star rating sooner rather than later.
1. Energy efficiency impacts your bottom line
There’s no denying the fact that the cost of running a commercial facility can be staggering: owners must afford heating, cooling, lighting, and not to mention all those computers. Considering that up to 33 percent of the energy consumed by an average unrated building gets wasted due to inefficiencies that could easily be resolved, it’s pretty easy to put a dollar figure on improving the energy rating of your unique facility.
Typically, moving from an unrated status to a high Energy Star rating results in millions of dollars saved annually for large buildings.
In many cases, the most effective changes and upgrades recommended to improve energy efficiency can be accomplished relatively inexpensively and quickly, so the potential savings becomes even more impressive.
As far as a business case goes, this one is obvious: Obtaining an Energy Star rating can make significant revenue — that weren’t there before — appear on your company’s bottom line.
2. Energy Star provides practical support and education
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has maintained Energy Star as a volunteer program designed to make energy conservation simple and intuitive.
In support of that effort, they make educational materials available to help individuals and companies apply energy saving principles in practical ways. These include statistics, case studies, industry benchmarks, and access to energy experts who have already successfully implemented energy savings in real-world commercial situations.
For example, the Energy Star Guidelines for Energy Management, which you can download, free of charge, is packed with excellent information for commercial building owners and facility managers.
The business case here is less time and money spent figuring out how to save, and more focused and strategic investment in making it happen.
3. The Energy Star rating makes your building worth more
Based on independent academic research, commercial buildings with a high Energy Star rating command higher rental rates, increased asset value, increased occupancy rates, and greater marketability when compared to equivalent commercial buildings without a rating.
And these differences are significant. Various studies have placed the differences as high as:
- 16% for rental rate premium
- 6% for occupancy rate premium
- 31% for sale price premium
Once again, millions of dollars can be realized by many companies, and these benefits last years into the future.
4. There’s financial value in doing the right thing
While philanthropy doesn’t always work this way, becoming more environmentally conscious has proven to be an effective marketing strategy for many businesses.
Environmental issues have become more widely known and understood in recent years, and consumers have repeatedly voiced their desire for a cleaner future through their buying habits. For example, according to a Nielsen survey involving purchasing decisions made by Millennials, sustainability was one of the key deciding factors in which companies this huge and influential group chose to support.
Another survey by BBMG concluded that “36.4 percent of customers consider themselves ‘conscious consumers’ who factor environmental responsibility heavily in their buying decisions.”
So, the business case is clear here as well: placing the Energy Star seal on your commercial buildings and letting the world know that your company takes ecological responsibility seriously can win you customers, tenants, and residents that agree with the stand you’re taking.
With these basic points in mind, it becomes clear there is a real-world financial value in obtaining an Energy Star certification for your Chicago commercial building. It makes good business sense, and it’s the right thing to do.