Magazine article Journal of Property Management

E-Tools Key to Energy Management

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

E-Tools Key to Energy Management

Article excerpt

Faster approvals on projects that reduce operating expenses are in everyone's best interest. Managers get faster feedback from owners, owners and tenants enjoy savings sooner, and vendors see shorter sales cycles. Of course, owners can't approve a proposed upgrade unless they clearly understand the costs and benefits. Today, too many worthwhile projects are not approved because neither the vendor nor the manager can prove to the owner that the investment makes sense.

RealWinWin, Inc., an energy efficiency-consulting firm, has built two software tools that can help building owners and managers make better decisions when upgrading their properties.

One of these tools, F.I.N.D. [TM] (Financial Incentives National Database [TM]), offers users a listing of all rebates and other incentives to improve building energy efficiency.

NOI Builder [TM] is a tool used to produce an investment-grade analysis of capital projects that propose to lower operating expenses. An NOI Builder analysis shows where every upgrade dollar is invested, the source and destination of every dollar of return, and the net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) of the proposed project itself. The analysis shows where it makes sense to invest in improving the efficiency of tenant spaces (both mid-lease and between leases) and also helps calculate and justify cost recoveries from tenants.

"Being able to tap into rebate and grant money for energy efficiency improvements can really benefit a project," said Gary Graham, who heads energy advisory services for Jones Lang LaSalle. "F.I.N.D. streamlines that process for us."

"It's a cost-effective and practical approach to make sure that all construction, whether new or retrofit-related, is screened for rebates," noted Jay Raghavan, head of asset management for Lend Lease Real Estate Investments.

Future, current and even recently completed capital projects are good targets when looking for potential rebates. "This kind of tool identifies rebates to reduce the capital needed for proposed energy projects. We've even used it to identify retroactive rebates for projects we have completed," said Jim D'Orazio, vice president, national director of engineering for Grubb and Ellis Management Services. …

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