The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE’s) Better Buildings initiative recently announced a partnership with CoStar Group Inc., provider of data and intelligence solutions to commercial real-estate professionals, to expand the visibility of energy-efficient buildings in U.S. property markets and promote the benefits of energy efficiency for building owners and occupants.
As outlined in a memorandum of understanding, the DOE and CoStar Group will jointly support the following initiatives:
- Display building energy-efficiency information in CoStar Group's online property databases.
- Evaluate the impact of energy efficiency and sustainability on real-estate valuation; building operating income and expenses; tenant health, comfort, and productivity; and more.
- Promote Better Buildings and the solutions of Better Buildings partners.
"Reducing wasted energy in our buildings is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy bills for Americans, make local communities more affordable, cut harmful pollution, and create new jobs," Kathleen Hogan, DOE deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency, said. "DOE's partnership with CoStar Group will not only improve our understanding of the benefits of energy efficiency for building owners and occupants, but will also result in an historic expansion of the energy-efficiency information available to commercial real-estate consumers that will drive demand for energy-efficiency improvements nationwide."
CoStar Group will display energy-related information being made publicly accessible by state and local governments that have adopted building-energy-transparency laws. It plans to begin displaying energy-related information for buildings in Chicago and Washington, D.C., this summer, followed by buildings in other applicable states and localities beginning this fall.
Energy-related information for approximately 60,000 U.S. commercial and multifamily buildings nationwide will become publicly accessible under state or local energy-transparency laws over the next few years.
The building energy-efficiency information that may be displayed in CoStar Group's online property databases includes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR score, whole-building source energy-use intensity, and annual greenhouse-gas emissions. Additionally, CoStar Group and the EPA will continue to explore options to enable building owners and managers to voluntarily share energy-related information with CoStar Group's online property databases.
CoStar Group already identifies and promotes the benefits of more than 15,000 buildings that have achieved ENERGY STAR certification and the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification in its online property databases and marketplaces. CoStar Group also operates more than 100 low-emission research vehicles that save an estimated 100,000 gal. of fuel a year.
The DOE, through its Building Technologies Office, will contribute technical energy-efficiency expertise to support the partnership initiatives. The partnership agreement has an initial term of 24 months.
Through Better Buildings, the DOE aims to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20 percent more energy-efficient over the next decade. Better Buildings includes the Better Buildings Challenge, a cornerstone of the President's Climate Action Plan, which works with corporate and public-sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. More than 310 organizations are partnering with the department to achieve 20-percent portfoliowide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, partners have shared energy data for more than 34,000 properties and are reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 5,500 properties and 10 percent or more at 12,600 properties.
To learn about Better Buildings Challenge partner results and showcase projects and solutions, go to betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov.