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EPA Reports – Tenant Engagement Leads to Whole Building Energy Savings

Are you looking for ways to engage your tenants in energy efficiency? Or are unsure of the best way to raise tenants’ awareness of your building’s sustainability initiatives? Are you a tenant who is searching for opportunities for positive collaboration with your tenants or landlord? The EPA recently released a resource to foster commercial real estate building managers and tenants towards working together to reduce energy within tenant spaces.

The organizations profiled in the EPA’s Successes in Sustainability: Landlords and Tenants Team Up to Improve Energy Efficiency includes many ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year winners from around the country and demonstrates a variety of examples where commercial real estate owners, managers, and tenants are tapping into the power of collaboration to overcome barriers to high-performance buildings. These innovative organizations demonstrate the value of retrofitting leased space as green space, measuring and sharing energy data to enable efficiency, and engaging tenants around energy efficiency. Their stories serve as models for other landlords and tenants who face challenges in coming together for top performance.

Building occupants directly and indirectly control a significant portion of energy use. Vornado Realty Trust notes in 8 Great Strategies to Engage Tenants in Energy Efficiency, “Tenant education and behavioral change strategies are integral to effective energy management programs.”

EnerNOC, a provider of energy intelligence software or EIS, notes, “It’s no secret: Well-managed, well-maintained facilities command premium rents, attract premier clientele, and demand competitive pricing for the goods they produce. Whether looking to attract the highest quality tenants for your commercial properties, to reduce costs in production, or to maintain your long-term operating plan,” tenant engagement is the key.

Tracking building energy use or benchmarking accounts for all the energy utilized within a building. For multi-tenant buildings, this includes not only the public space energy use and any systems which supply heat, cooling, or water to the whole building, but also the energy consumed in each tenant space. This includes plug loads or the energy consumed by any electronic device that’s plugged into an electrical socket. Typically plug loads are 30% of a commercial building’s energy use. As such, building occupants directly and indirectly control a significant portion of the entire building’s energy use.

Whether building out new space or looking for new ideas on how to engage existing clients, tenants and landlords have a great opportunity to collaborate and create more efficient spaces. Working together towards whole building, energy savings set the stage for a strong landlord-tenant relationship now and in the future. For more information on whole-building energy usage data, benchmarking, or tenant engagement, please contact Steve Kismohr, MEEA’s Sr. Technical Manager at or 312.784.7257.